Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the supporter of the erstwhile HD DVD format, says digital streaming of content will cause Blue-ray's demise.

In an interview with Xbox360Achievements, Microsoft's, UK Xbox chief remarked: "Actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format. People have moved through from DVDs to digital downloads and digital streaming, so we offer full HD 1080p Blu-ray quality streaming instantly, no download, no delay. So, who needs Blu-ray?"

He also stated that it was a wise decision to keep Xbox pricing low to be able to transition easily to providing digital content.

Microsoft has joined its competitor Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) in withdrawing support from the Blu-ray format. In fact, Apple had been a bystander in the debate waiting for a standardized format to emerge from the HD DVD-Blu-ray format war. But with the launch of Apple TV, it buttressed its move in the direction of offering a device that integrated other devices that store and play digital content. Also, its iTunes is moving away from regular media towards streaming digital content.

Microsoft had joined major consumer electronics manufacturers, content providers and other companies as members of the HD DVD Promotion Group in 2005. Microsoft had been a powerful force in pushing for the HD DVD standard. The final nail on HD DVD's coffin was hammered by Toshiba, the main company behind the format, when it offered its own Blu-ray disc player in 2008.http:/

HD DVD breathed its last when Warner Bros. declared that it would release movies only in Blu-ray disc in 2008, which created a domino effect with major retailers opting out of selling HD DVD.

With HD DVD's demise, the industry thought that Blu-ray technology would become the established format. However, the current trend where the traditional movie television segment is being reformed by integrated devices like Google TV and Apple TV that allows streaming of digital content to the TV will eventually cut into Blu-ray's dominance.

Blu-Ray format offers more than five times the storage capacity than a traditional DVD and can compress up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. It uses a blue-violet laser instead of the traditional red laser for reading. Since the blue-violet laser has a shorter wavelength (405nm) compared to red laser's wavelength of (650nm) it allows focusing the laser on a spot with greater precision, thus allowing data to be condensed tightly using less space.

It is currently backed by 200 of the world's leading consumer electronics, personal computer, recording media, and video game and music companies.

In a recent report by WSJ, electronic retailers confirmed having radically cut its extensive selections of movie and music discs citing increasing demand for digital content. It intends to use the freed shop-floor for showcasing other gadgets like iPads and smartphones.

With Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) planning to offer streaming-only plan confirmed by an issue of statement on its official blog, and with Google looking to leverage on cloud-based streaming content with an influx of devices like iPads and smartphones that will allow access to digital content, the future of high-density recording discs like Blu-ray is sure to be challenged.

International Business Times, The Global Business News Leader

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