2011 prediction #3: 1.8-inch and 3.5-inch disk drives will die

This year will see the end of the iPod Classic and with it the 1.8-inch disk drive, 90 percent of which are sold by Toshiba. This is a testament to the rise of flash memory and Solid State Disk (SSD) drives, but that’s not the only cause or the only result, because I predict that late in the year the venerable 3.5-inch disk form factor will hit end-of-life, too.

Apple is by far the largest consumer of 1.8-inch disk drives with most of the rest going into competing media players and netbooks. Toshiba might be able to keep its 1.8-inch disk business going to serve those alternate markets but I don’t think Apple will allow it, […]

When Is Your Bank Not Your Bank?

We interrupt this 2010 predictions column to predict trouble ahead, first for mobile banking apps, second for ISPs who stupidly piss-off my readers, and finally for buyers like me of Dell Vostro A90 netbooks. I further predict we’ll return with more prediction columns within hours.

First the mobile app problem. My friend Stephen Schaubach just noticed something about mobile banking apps that is very scary. He wrote about it tonight on Slashdot, but since he’s my friend (Stephen introduced me to my wife — I think that qualifies him as a friend, don’t you?) I feel okay about the duplication.  As for that introduction many years ago, Stephen was just showing her off, […]

Atomic Warfare

nuke2Intel last week bought for $884 million Wind River Systems, a venerable embedded operating system company — yet another of the chip giant’s recent forays into software. The reason for this purchase is both simple and grand — to help Intel vertically integrate and to further its Linux ambitions.  Intel’s ultimate target with this purchase is Microsoft.  It’s all about kicking Redmond out of the netbook business.

Netbooks are the big hardware success of 2009 and most are powered by Intel Atom processors.  The problem with PC’s in general and netbooks in particular is that they aren’t very profitable for Intel campared to the good old days.  Microsoft makes more profit from every Windows PC sold […]