It's official. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Watkins, Seagate's chief executive, has disclosed in an interview that the company will enter the market for flash-based storage devices as early as next year.
Better known to us IT professionals as solid-state drives (SSD), these will gradually be added to Seagate's product lineup. Seagate will still be relying mainly on products based on spinning magnetic disks (or Winchester disk) in the foreseeable future, so you terabyte hard-disk junkies are still safe for now.
Indeed, the company is likely to offer various kinds of "hybrid" products that leverage on both flash and Winchester drives.
Mr. Watkins also disclosed that Seagate has begun talking to U.S. government officials about ways that agencies can help domestic drive makers such as Seagate. No wonder, as Seagate faces competition from companies in Japan and South Korea that get various forms of government assistance.
Obviously, the fact that these competitors are manufacturing behemoths in their own right and are already firmly entrenched for some years now does not help a single bit. Realistically, Seagate has no alternative but to commit a full 100% of its own not insubstantial resources into this new playing field.
Quote of the day from Mr. Watkin:
We have solid-state drives on every road map that we have.
It does appear that Seagate is going in with its guns blazing, leaving nothing to chance. The next few years will be interesting times indeed.
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.