Western Digital eyes SSD market cautiously

— 11:26 AM on November 24, 2008

Seagate has already made it clear that it plans to enter the solid-state drive market next year with enterprise products. So, what's the plan for Seagate's biggest competitor? The folks at The Register had a talk with Western Digital Marketing Senior VP Richard Rutledge to get an idea of WD's SSD strategy.

Here's what Rutledge had to say:

"Western Digital enters markets that exist, announces products when they are available, and runs a tight model with opportunities greater than resources such that we take a controlled, methodical, sequential, incremental approach to product portfolio expansion.

"We do not currently supply to either several platform categories [game console, car, phone] or product categories [SAS/FC-AL on 10K/15K, SSD]. This said, we know [and] understand each of these segments and are open to enter any [or] all of them when they present appropriate opportunity."

Rutledge elaborated a little bit, saying he characterizes solid-state drives as "fast at reads and fragile," whereas he thinks hard drives are "safe with no endurance or retention issues." Nonetheless, The Register says WD is mulling an entry in the low-end solid-state storage market with devices for handheld and mobile platforms. WD is particularly interested in "SmartBooks"—devices half-way between smart phones and netbooks.

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