05 January 2010

Standards rivalries

I have been interested in standards rivalries for a long time, so this article over at Ars Technica caught my attention (see this search on HD-DVD vs Blu Ray, for example). There are more nuanced analyses of both the Betamax vs. VHS and HD-DVD vs. Blu Ray rivalries, but I think the most interesting contribution of the Ars Technica article is the prediction of a shift from hardware rivalries to content distribution rivalries as we move from hardware to software. I think they have an interesting point, one that the economic literature on standards has not addressed explicitly (to my knowledge).

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