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Western Digital Ships First 2 TB Portable Hard Drive With Next-Gen My Passport

Western Digital today announced the next generation of its top-selling My Passport line of portable hard drives, offering consumers a fresh new enclosure design and the first-ever 2 TB capacity in a portable drive.

Now available in five popular colors: white, black, silver, blue, and red, with a range of capacities beginning from 500 GB, the new sleeker My Passport portable drives offer digital consumers an appealing array of storage options that reflect their personal style. Additionally, the new My Passport drives offer WD SmartWare automatic backup software and WD Security for password protection and hardware encryption.

Western Digital Shipping My Book Thunderbolt Duo Dual-Drive Storage System

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions, is now shipping its first external hard drive with Thunderbolt technology - the My Book Thunderbolt Duo dual-drive storage system.

The new My Book Thunderbolt Duo provides professionals and Mac enthusiasts with five primary areas of performance, double-safe data protection and flexibility; ultra-fast data transfer rates for greater work efficiency; a 4 TB/6 TB large-capacity; customized dual-drive storage system with RAID 0, 1 and JBOD options; customer serviceable drives; and dual Thunderbolt ports for daisy-chaining multiple My Book Thunderbolt Duo devices or other peripherals.

Western Digital Completes Acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Viviti Technologies Ltd. (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), effective Mar. 8, 2012, for $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of WDC common stock valued at approximately $0.9 billion. Hitachi, Ltd. now owns approximately 10 percent of WDC shares outstanding, and it has the right to designate two individuals to the board of directors of WD.

The new WD will operate with WD Technologies (WD) and HGST as wholly owned subsidiaries. Aggregated revenues of the two companies in 2011 were $15 billion. As chief executive officer of WD, John Coyne heads up the new office of the CEO, with Steve Milligan as president, Tim Leyden as chief operating officer and Wolfgang Nickl as chief financial officer.

WD's Purchase of Hitachi HDD Business Approved by EU Regulators

Western Digital (WD), secured an approval (conditional), from the European Union regulator in-charge of competition that enables it to go ahead and purchase Hitachi's hard disk drive business. WD is purchasing Hitachi's HDD assets for US $4.3 billion. "The proposed divestiture will ensure that competition in the industry is fully restored before the merger is implemented," EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement. What makes the EU approval conditional is the fact that WD had to first agree to sell several of its production operations, which it did, to Toshiba, early this month.

Source: Reuters

Western Digital Ships Its Third-generation Enterprise 2.5-Inch SAS Hard Drive Family

Western Digital, a leader in the desktop, mobile, high-capacity enterprise and consumer markets for hard drives, today announced the availability of its third-generation WD S25 SAS hard drives, serving the performance-optimized, mission-critical enterprise server and storage market. Shipping now, the new 2.5-inch, 10,000 RPM, WD S25 with SAS 6 Gb/s interface hard drives offer IT professionals a more advanced array of ultra-reliable and efficient, high-performance storage, available in capacities of 300 GB, 450 GB, 600 GB, and 900 GB. The WD S25 line is designed for the most demanding applications such as online transaction processing and multi-tiered networked storage arrays.

WD Offers Cloud Storage Protection to WD Sentinel DX4000 Storage Server Owners

Western Digital, the world's leader in digital storage solutions, has announced that it is offering to customers of its WD Sentinel DX4000 storage server an offsite data storage service that improves data protection for the small business owners who rely on WD Sentinel to protect their precious business information. WD partnered with KeepVault, which was recently added to the AuthenTec line of services, to serve WD's Sentinel small office storage server customers.

WD Reaches Agreement With Toshiba Corporation to Divest Certain 3.5-inch HDD Assets

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today reported that it has reached an agreement with Toshiba Corporation to divest certain assets to address the requirements of regulatory agencies that have conditionally approved or are continuing to review the company's planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST). The asset package covered by the agreement will enable Toshiba to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for the desktop and consumer electronics markets and will enhance its ability to manufacture and sell 3.5-inch hard drives for near-line (business critical) applications. The divestiture transaction is subject to review by regulatory agencies in certain jurisdictions.

WD also reported that it has agreed, subject to completion of the divestiture transaction, to purchase Toshiba Storage Device (Thailand) Company Limited (TSDT). TSDT manufactured hard drives but has not resumed operations after the recent Thailand flooding. The principal assets of TSDT are its Thailand property, facilities and employees. Subject to completion of the transaction, WD plans to integrate these facilities and employees into its Thailand operations. The financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.

Western Digital Previews Thunderbolt Dual-Drive Storage System at Macworld/iWorld

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions, will demonstrate the ultra-fast data transfer rates of its upcoming My Book Thunderbolt Duo dual-drive storage system at the Macworld/iWorld show (booth #401). Thunderbolt technology will dramatically improve workflow speed and efficiencies for enthusiasts and professionals dealing with large digital files such as video, audio and still photos.

Thunderbolt technology is capable of producing up to 10 gigabits per second of throughput on each of two channels in both directions. Users can experience very fast read/write speeds especially during applications such as video editing, 3D rendering, and other intense graphics projects. To put Thunderbolt's speed into perspective, HD media creators will be able to transfer a standard size full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds, or backup an entire year of continuous music (approx. 8,600 hours of music) in roughly 10 minutes.

Western Digital Announces Q2 Results and Operations Update

Western Digital Corp. today reported revenue of $2.0 billion, hard-drive unit shipments of 28.5 million and net income of $145 million, or $0.61 per share, for its second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 30, 2011. Excluding charges and expenses related to the Thailand flooding and the planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST), non-GAAP net income was $358 million, or $1.51 per share. During the quarter, the company incurred charges and expenses of $199 million related to the flooding and expenses of $14 million associated with the planned acquisition of HGST.

In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $2.5 billion, net income of $225 million, or $0.96 per share, and shipped 52.2 million hard drives.

HDD Vendors Want Long-Term Contracts with PC Makers

Well, it seems that the flooding in Thailand has done a lot more than destroy lives, wreck a few factories and cause HDD prices to shoot up. There appears to be a lot of opportunities for changing the terms of business too - to less favourable ones for customers of hard disc drives. First, we had the severe and unwelcome warranty reductions and now we have HDD manufacturers trying to lock branded PC makers into expensive long-term contracts, according to Digitimes. Some PC makers buy hard disk drives on a quarterly basis, at a fixed price, but now that prices have shot up and supplies restricted, HDD manufacturers are trying to coerce them into signing one year contracts at current high prices. However, it looks like it might not be such a good deal for PC makers, because the recovery in supply is continuing, with a full recovery potentially not so far away, which will of course make those prices plummet again. As it is, HDD shipments are projected to be around 140 million units in the first quarter of 2012, while the same quarter last year was 170-180 million units - so the fall isn't really that hugely less than before anyway and should become less severe as 2012 wears on.

One does get the impression that the HDD manufacturers are playing up the difficulty of restoring production volumes in order to give them a better bargaining hand. There's also the fact that recovering from the disaster is hugely expensive for them, so HDD makers will want to charge more to recoup those costs faster, motivating them to use tactics like these.

WD Slashes HDD Warranties By A Third – But You Can Buy Them Back

Way back in 2008, we reported that Seagate was lowering warranties of its hard disk drives from 5 years to 3. This trend quickly spread throughout the HDD industry and unsurprisingly, wasn't something that customers were too happy about. Now, Western Digital is lowering the warranty on some of its HDD lines from 3 years to a mere 2, with the affected lines being the Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue. Lines not affected are the Caviar Black, Scorpio Black, A/V drives and externals. Also, as the stock feeds through the channel, there will be a transition period where the same model in a store will have either a 2 or 3 year warranty, depending on its serial number, which can be checked on WD's support site. It will be interesting to see if retailers will clearly differentiate to customers which drives have which warranty, as it might be rather convenient for them not to.

Channel partners have received a letter from SelectWD about this:

Western Digital Reports Arbitration Decision, will Challenge the Award

Western Digital Corp. today reported that on November 18, 2011, an arbitration award of $525 million was rendered against the company by a sole arbitrator in a pending confidential arbitration action in Minnesota. The amount of the award does not include prejudgment interest, which will be subsequently determined. The award involves claims brought by Seagate Technology LLC against WD and one employee who was formerly employed by Seagate, alleging misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets.

"We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "We believe the company acted properly at all times and we will vigorously challenge the award. This does not affect our ability to conduct our operations, to complete the recovery and recommencement of our Thailand operations or, subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals, to consummate our planned acquisition of Hitachi GST."Source: Western Digital

WD Announces Q1 Revenue of $2.7 Billion and Net Income of $239 Million

Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) today reported revenue of $2.7 billion, hard-drive unit shipments of 58 million and net income of $239 million, or $1.01 per share, for its first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011. The company's results include expenses of $21 million associated with the planned acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) announced Mar. 7, 2011 and unrelated litigation accruals. Excluding these expenses, non-GAAP net income was $260 million or $1.10 per share.

In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $2.4 billion, net income of $197 million, or $0.84 per share, and shipped 51 million hard drives. The company generated $352 million in cash from operations during the September quarter, ending with total cash and cash equivalents of $3.7 billion. For more information, refer to First Quarter Fiscal 2012 Investor Information Summary.

WD Reports Impact on HDD Production Due to Severe Flooding in Thailand

Western Digital Corp. today announced that production of hard drives in its facilities close to Bangkok, Thailand, will be constrained in the current quarter due to the severe flooding in Thailand. The flooding is causing problems with the region's infrastructure, including transportation and utilities, and has resulted in the inundation of some supplier facilities and employee homes. The company is gratified to report that its approximately 37,000 Thailand-based employees are deemed safe at this time.

The company is working with its suppliers to maximize throughput and availability of parts in order to best meet the needs of its customers.

Western Digital Announces WD TV Live Streaming Media Player With Spotify Capability

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions and maker of the popular WD TV media player family, today introduced the next generation of its WD TV Live streaming media player, an easy to use Wi-Fi enabled media player that is the first in its category to deliver the Spotify music service.

WD TV Live features WD's newest intuitive user interface that delivers the latest hit movies, TV shows, music and online services from companies like Netflix, Hulu Plus and Blockbuster directly to your TV. The new streaming media player connects to the Internet wirelessly or through an Ethernet connection, with the high performance 802.11n wireless connectivity supporting Full-HD 1080p video resolution.

WD Slims 1 TB Hard Drive to Fit Mainstream Notebooks

Western Digital, a leader in the desktop, mobile, high-capacity enterprise and consumer markets for hard drives, today announced that it has commenced volume shipments of its WD Scorpio Blue 9.5 mm, 2.5-inch mobile hard drive with 1 TB capacity. Designed for mainstream notebook computers, the new WD Scorpio Blue 1 TB hard drive utilizes 500 GB-per-platter areal density and is now available in the highest capacity for 2.5-inch hard drives in the industry-standard 9.5 mm, two-platter (2-disk) form factor.

WD Scorpio Blue mobile hard drives are designed with ruggedness, reliability and data-protection features that actively watch over valuable data. The WD Scorpio Blue 1 TB mobile hard drive also achieves excellent power and performance, making it an ideal solution for notebook computers and other portable devices that require extended battery life and cool, ultra quiet operation.

WD Announces New Generation My Book Studio External HDDs for Macs

Western Digital today announced that its newest generation of the popular My Book Studio external hard drives are designed for use with Mac computers and Apple Time Machine. Now available with a 3 TB storage capacity, the new design features a brushed aluminum casing to match the appearance of a Mac computer, and also serves to keep the drive cool while in use. The aluminum exterior, combined with its WD Caviar Green drives, eliminates the need for an internal fan to reduce drive noise and extend the life of the drive. Although formatted for Mac computers, the My Book Studio external hard drives can also be reformatted for PCs.

The My Book Studio external hard drive includes all the features and benefits that have made it one of the favorites among creative professionals and Mac computer enthusiasts, including its fast and flexible FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interfaces, user-controlled automatic backup software and drive management, password protection and hardware encryption. Shipping in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB, the My Book Studio drive includes the WD Caviar Green series of internal hard drives with WD GreenPower Technology.

WD Launches Industry's Largest Capacity 3 TB Hard Drives for AV Platforms

Western Digital, a leader in the desktop, mobile, high-capacity enterprise and consumer markets for hard drives, today announced the addition of 2.5 TB and 3 TB versions to its family of WD AV-GP SATA hard drives, serving the audio-video (AV) market. Shipping immediately, the 2.5 TB and 3 TB capacity, 3.5-inch, WD AV-GP hard drives offer 24X7 reliability, low power consumption and unrivalled storage capacity for storage-intensive AV applications such as digital video recorders, video surveillance, single-drive media servers and external multimedia storage.

"Designed to go the distance in high-temperature, always-on streaming digital AV environments, WD AV-GP drives store more hi-def audio and video than ever before with our new 2.5 TB and 3 TB versions," said Jim Welsh, executive vice president and general manager of WD's branded products and CE business units. "Combine unsurpassed capacity, power-saving WD GreenPower Technology, and performance capabilities to capture up to 12 simultaneous HD video streams with SilkStream technology and the drive choice is made clear in optimizing AV applications like PVR/DVR, IPTV and video surveillance."

WD Introduces 6 TB External HDD to Support Increased HD Content Creation by Pros

Western Digital, the world's leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its My Book Studio Edition II dual-drive storage system with a massive 6 terabytes (TB) of storage to meet the capacity needs of today's creative pros and Mac enthusiasts who create, store, edit and archive large HD video and photo files. The new capacity provides users 33 percent more storage than the previous capacity, while maintaining the same footprint.

Combining its extended 6 TB storage capacity and compatibility with Apple Time Machine, the new My Book Studio Edition II drive becomes an instant storage solution for a variety of professions including art and design, photography, legal and medical, and a host of other small businesses.

Western Digital to Acquire Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

Western Digital and Hitachi, Ltd. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby WD will acquire Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $4.3 billion. The proposed combination will result in a customer-focused storage company, with significant operating scale, strong global talent and the industry’s broadest product lineup backed by a rich technology portfolio.

Under the terms of the agreement, WD will acquire Hitachi GST for $3.5 billion in cash and 25 million WD common shares valued at $750 million, based on a WD closing stock price of $30.01 as of March 4, 2011. Hitachi, Ltd. will own approximately ten percent of Western Digital shares outstanding after issuance of the shares and two representatives of Hitachi will be added to the WD board of directors at closing. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is expected to close during the third calendar quarter of 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. WD plans to fund the transaction with a combination of existing cash and total debt of approximately $2.5 billion.

WD Announces Scorpio Black 750 GB 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive

Western Digital today announced it is now shipping its new WD Scorpio Black 750 GB 7200 RPM 2.5-inch SATA hard drives for high-performance notebook computers and portable storage devices. One of the fastest hard drives on the market, WD Scorpio Black drives combine class-leading 7200 RPM spin speed and 16 MB cache to deliver maximum notebook performance. Now available in capacities up to 750 GB, the WD Scorpio Black hard drives provide creative professionals, gamers and PC enthusiasts with additional capacity they need to get their job done. Using Advanced Format (AF) technology, the WD Scorpio Black 750 GB hard drives also incorporate a variety of data-protection features to actively monitor and protect valuable data.

Western Digital Intros Caviar Blue HDDs with SATA 6 Gb/s Interface

Western Digital (WD) announced a new line of Caviar Blue line of 3.5" SATA hard drives that make use of the SATA 6 Gb/s interface. Caviar Blue strikes a balance between performance and energy efficiency, it's a middle-ground between the performance-oriented Caviar Black, and energy efficiency-oriented Caviar Green. The drive uses a spindle speed of 7200 RPM. The new lineup of Caviar Blue drives also support 4K sectors, also known as Advanced Format. The drives are available in capacities of 250 GB, 320 GB, and 500 GB, which feature 16 MB cache; 750 GB and 1 TB, which feature 32 MB cache. Fairly standard pricing which are on par with prices of existing price per gigabyte of Caviar Blue drives, can be expected.

WD Announces Q1 Revenue of $2.4 Billion, Net Income of $197 Million

Western Digital Corp. today reported revenue of $2.4 billion, hard-drive unit shipments of 50.7 million and net income of $197 million, or $0.84 per share for its first fiscal quarter ended Oct. 1, 2010. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $2.2 billion, shipped 44.1 million hard drives, and reported net income and earnings per share of $288 million and $1.25, respectively.

"In a quarter characterized by aggressive industry pricing, we remained solidly profitable, grew revenues and unit shipments year-over-year, and generated $390 million in cash from operations," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "Our low-cost business model and strong balance sheet enable us to weather the seasonality and cycles of the hard drive industry such as we experienced during the last two quarters.

Western Digital Announces Caviar Green 2.5 TB and 3 TB SATA Hard Drive

WD today announced that the company is shipping the world's largest capacity SATA hard drive. As the latest addition to its WD Caviar Green family of SATA hard drives, the new hard drives deliver up to a massive 3 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity on a single drive. WD is leading the industry in capacity for SATA hard drives by utilizing 750 GB-per-platter areal density and Advanced Format (AF) technology.

WD Caviar Green drives are an eco-friendly storage solution with WD GreenPower Technology, which reduces power consumption by enabling lower operating temperatures for increased reliability and decreases acoustical noise for quiet operation. The WD Caviar Green 2.5 TB and 3 TB hard drives are designed for use as secondary external storage and next-generation PC storage in 64-bit based systems.
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