Toshiba's battle against Sony over the next DVD format got a boost today as Microsoft and Intel announced that they are going to back its HD DVD technology.

In a statement released on behalf of both companies both the companies stated:

“After extensive review, both companies determined that the HD DVD format developed by the DVD Forum meets important criteria and delivers unique advantages, including PC and connected device interoperability and an easy, affordable transition to high definition for consumers. HD DVD can bring the excitement of HD video to the consumer faster than competing formats, with the potential for more affordable hardware and more interactive experiences.”

Microsoft's Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of the Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group at Microsoft went on to say “And after looking at the core advantages to the PC ecosystem and how it would benefit the consumer, it is clear that HD DVD offers the highest quality, and is the most affordable and highly flexible solution available.”

In other HD DVD news, Toshiba has announced plans to have laptop ready disc drives available by the end of the year.