A format war is the competition between two or more different formats to become the industry standard. Standards are important in every industry and format wars are common. The winning standard usually gets the largest market share. The losing format often suffers dying sales until it is gone completely. Sometimes the winning format is technically the best, but usually the different formats have different advantages. Being first or being cheaper can also help one design win out over its rivals.
- Direct current vs. Alternating current for power distribution.
- Various Rail gauges
- wax cylinders vs. the Gramophone record for early music recordings
- VHS vs. Betamax for video recording tape
- Microsoft and Intel (Wintel) vs. Apple Inc. and Android computer operating systems
- Blu-ray Disc vs. HD DVD for laser discs
- Charles Hill; Gareth Jones; Melissa Schilling, Strategic Management: Theory & Cases: An Integrated Approach (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004), p. 219
- David Ellis; Julia Johnston, Split Screen: Home Entertainment and the New Technologies (Toronto: Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, 1992), p. 39
- Stephen Martin, Industrial Organization in Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 308
- David Ellis; Julia Johnston, Split Screen: Home Entertainment and the New Technologies (Toronto: Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, 1992), p. 40