In the biggest standards battle most people couldn't care less
about, most folks are assuming that Blu-ray has finally won the battle. However, the HD DVD folks aren't totally giving up yet. After hanging their heads and canceling a party and press conference at CES, it appears that Toshiba believes the way to revive interest in the HD DVD standard is... to spend $2.7 million on a Superbowl ad
. As if that's going to make a difference. It brings to mind various dot com startups from the last bubble who put their entire marketing budget into a Super Bowl ad. In the meantime, it may be time to start watching HD DVD's other backers. Microsoft still insists it's strongly behind HD DVD but have opened the door
to finally giving it up. Meanwhile, Intel has a long history of jumping ship
after it realizes it backed the wrong horse in various standards battles. The company seems to have learned when to cash out and move on. Last year it moved closer to that position by supporting both standards (while still officially backing HD DVD). If the trend keeps moving towards Blu-ray, then expect to see Intel jump more fully to the other camp. Now, if only this had been worked out four years ago, before people had moved on to online video
. Blu-ray can still do well, but it missed its biggest opportunity to take over the market a few years ago.