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Philips touts Microsoft DVD support

The consumer-electronics maker announces that the software giant will be giving the nod to a rewritable DVD format that Philips Electronics supports.

Consumer-electronics maker Philips Electronics announced Monday that Microsoft will be giving the nod to a rewritable DVD format that Philips supports.

As previously reported, Microsoft will demonstrate software this week at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference that will support the DVD+RW format in its next version of Windows. The software giant will make an announcement at the conference regarding its DVD+RW efforts, according to Monday's release from Philips.

Philips and Microsoft representatives did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Microsoft's endorsement of the DVD+RW format could prove important in determining a winner in a long-running standards battle for one DVD-rewritable format. The move could encourage more PC manufacturers to incorporate DVD+RW drives into their systems, as operating system support makes adding a drive go more smoothly, said Dean Sanderson, a Hewlett-Packard marketing manager.

"Native support for DVD+RW in the OS will make the addition of DVD+RW to a PC easier and will likely lead to such things as reduced customer-support calls and fewer error messages," Sanderson said.

Microsoft already supports a competing rewritable DVD format, called DVD-RAM, in Windows. A group of companies called the DVD Forum, which includes Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp, advocates the DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW formats. The DVD+RW Alliance, which is a rival group of companies including Dell Computer, HP and Philips, has thrown its support behind the DVD+RW format.

Philips and Microsoft are both members of the Mount Rainier group, an organization of companies, including Compaq Computer, Philips, Sony and Microsoft, working to enable easy integration of optical storage devices in an operating system.

The group's efforts began with tying CD-rewritable technology to an operating system. It later finalized the Mount Rainier specification for DVD+RW.

Microsoft began working to support the DVD+RW format in March, when Mount Rainier finalized its spec for DVD+RW.