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Dawn of the Tbyte Hard Drive

5:55 PM -- An intriguing email from Seagate popped up in my inbox this afternoon, explaining how the vendor wanted to update the storage world on its plans for a 1-Tbyte hard drive.

Not that we'd been asking, mind you, but the missive explained that Seagate has "received a number of inquiries" about its plans for the drive, and promised that the product will be available at some point during the first half of this year.

Now, in my experience, bombarding a company with requests for information doesn't usually prompt this type of response. If it did, incidentally, then we would know a hell of a lot more about the internal workings of Google). (See Google Grumbles.)

Seagate's sudden spirit of Glasnost, though touching, is a clear attempt to head off its hard-drive competition, namely Hitachi Global Storage Technology (HGST), which is expected to announce its own 1- Tbyte drive any day. A formal announcement about the technology is apparently slated for next week's CES show in Las Vegas.

Although Seagate is vague on its specific plans, Hitachi is expected to start shipping a consumer drive in the next few months, priced at $399. This will be followed by a drive for digital video recorders (DVR) and set-top boxes, followed by an enterprise storage version sometime later.

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