What Are the Lessons of the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Battle?

Even if you don’t care one bit–and this probably describes the vast majority of Americans–you have probably heard by now that a Great Format War has been fought, and apparently won. The HD-DVD format for DVDs, backed by Toshiba, has lost out to Sony’s Blu-ray format. To be sure, there are some caveats. Computerworld’s Lucas Mearian writes that Blu-ray’s victory may not be remotely as meaningful as it seems. Having recently spent a cold, rainy, but thrilling afternoon walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, I would put it this way: The Blu-ray victory may end up being as expensive, and as predictive of ultimate victory, as was the British victory of Bunker Hill. So what are we to make of this format skirmish? We gathered up a group of smart people who think about such things and asked them the following: Is the battle between HD-DVD and Blu-ray really over? What can we learn from it?

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