Microsoft Backs DVD+RW Alliance

The DVD+RW Alliance announced this week that Microsoft has officially joined its ranks and will be the ninth company to sit on its policy-setting team. Current members include industry giants Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony.

The pledge of support from Redmond was expected, as Microsoft has long been a proponent of Mount Rainier, which works only with DVD+R/RW drives. Mt. Rainier allows for transparent formatting of media and full drag and drop writing support, providing for the first true floppy replacement. Last June, Microsoft issued a call to action asking hardware manufacturers to support the standard.

Mount Rainier will likely make its first official appearance in the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn.

"In an effort to evaluate providing support for writable DVD and other digital media formats, Microsoft has decided to join the DVD+RW Alliance as a core member," Microsoft's general manger of the Windows Hardware Experience Group, Tom Phillips.

"Microsoft is committed to the convergence and compatibility in both PC and consumer electronics applications. Microsoft is happy to become a part of the DVD+RW Alliance and help promote writable DVD standards that are aligned with the Mt. Rainier technology."

The news does not bode well for Apple, Pioneer and other members of the DVD Forum, which backs DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM formats. Although Microsoft will still support those industry standards in Windows and its logo program, consumers will undoubtedly have a better experience using DVD+R/RW in Windows.

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