As the war between the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray camps continues, Bill Gates has revealed that he favours neither next-gen format - arguing that both are doomed to extinction by the advent of digital distribution systems.
In a speech delivered to a packed crowd at Washington DC's Howard University, Gates stated: "The format that's under discussion right now, HD versus Blu-ray, that's simply the last physical format we'll ever have."
"Even videos in the future will either be on a disk in your pocket or over the Internet, and therefore far more convenient for you."
This might go some way to explaining why Microsoft decided not to put HD-DVD capabilities in the forthcoming Xbox 360 console - despite the fact that the Redmond giant has already come out in support of the format.
Although it's possible that a HD-DVD expansion could be released in the future -indeed, Gates himself has previously suggested that future versions of the Xbox 360 could include a HD-DVD drive - his comments seem to reaffirm the company's commitment to digital distribution of entertainment via services such as Xbox Live.
However, Gates went on to concede that there were major obstacles to be overcome before digital distribution became widespread, such as getting broadband into more homes - at present, half of Americans with an Internet connection still use dial-up.