The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, Calif. got an interesting meeting of the minds recently.

In a story from Home Media Magazine, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs, and chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., Bill Gates, recently appeared together at the digital conference.

The subject of discussion was the digital delivery of home entertainment. It seems that the movie business is trying to avoid some of the pitfalls that the music business ran up against.

"I think people want to enjoy their entertainment when they want it and how they want it, on the device that they want it on," Jobs offered. "So ultimately, that's going to drive the entertainment companies into all sorts of different business models. And that's a good thing. I mean, if you're a content company, that's a great thing. More people wanting to enjoy your content more often in more different ways, that's why you're in business. But the transitions are hard sometimes."

Jobs states that mixing experience with experimentation is the key to companies succeeding in the digital marketplace

"There's a tremendous amount of experimentation and thought going on that's going to be good," he said. "It's going to be really good if you're a content owner."

Bill gates says that as important as the internet is making the transition to digital platforms it isn't the only factor.

"The big milestone is where the delivery platform is the Internet," Gates said. "I think you can get a little bit of a glimpse of the future of TV more from looking at community-type things like Xbox Live."

Both agree that there won't be just one just one way to view content.

"I don't think you'll have one device," Gates said.

He then went on to say, "The 5-inch screen does not really compete with the 20-inch screen, which does not compete with the big living-room screen,."

When asked by Don Eklund, EVP of advanced technologies at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, if the amount of diversity in the platforms was hurting competing devices both Jobs and Gates didn't seem to see things that way.

"It's hard to limit imagination," Jobs states. "I think that's part of what we put up with to have innovation."

"I don't see things that are going to hold back a convergence device," Gates said.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs