The Drive to Save Vista

Arthur Cole

Our focus this week is on the new generation of disk drives coming to market in light of Vista's top-end hardware requirements.


Probably the most significant development here is the formation of a hybrid drive consortium consisting largely of Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate and Toshiba. The aim is to merge flash storage with rotating memory designs, a technique that should provide for faster data transfer, lower power consumption and higher reliability and durability -- all of which would be a tremendous boon for notebook users.


Other firms are taking a different direction. SanDisk, for one, is pursuing solid state drives (SSDs), having just released a 32GB device designed to swap out existing 1.8-inch rotating disk drives. The company is betting that continued decline in the cost of NAND flash memory will make solid state more appetizing to enterprise users.


Meanwhile, Hitachi and SeaGate are neck-and-neck in the race to corner the market for 1TB external drives for the desktop.


Say what you will about Microsoft and Vista in general. But there is no denying that the company still has the power to make the industry jump when it wants to.

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