TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Disk Drive Pioneer Al Sugart Dies

Re: Disk Drive Pioneer Al Sugart Dies

Geoffrey Welsh (reply@newsgroup.please)
Thu, 21 Dec 2006 13:06:28 -0500 wrote:

> Associated Press News Wire wrote:

>> Shugart helped pioneer the multibillion dollar hard drive industry,
>> in which Seagate now holds the leading market position. He founded
>> the company in 1979 and left in 1998.

> Just a tiny clarification -- the hard disk drive was invented and
> marketed by IBM 50 years ago, announced in their product line in Sept
> 1956. IBM also invented the floppy disk as well.

Shugart worked for IBM's storage division for some time before he
started Shugart Associates. I presume the news article referred to
his work at that time.

> I understand IBM sold off its hard disk drive line recently; I don't
> know why. Peripherals used to be quite profitable.

IBM sold their hard drive manufacturing operations to Hitachi in 2003.
The hard drive industry had become increasingly commoditized and
highly competetive. Given the rapidly increasing demand for capacity
and performance, I suspect that product life cycles were shrinking and
R&D costs were skyrocketing. Some manufacturers (e.g. Micropolis)
folded, some (e.g. Conner Peripherals) were absorbed, and some
(e.g. Quantum) exited the hard drive business to focus on more
profitable product lines.

Geoffrey Welsh <Geoffrey [dot] Welsh [at] bigfoot [dot] com>
I'm a cynic. Optimists say the glass is half full, pessimists say the
glass is half empty, and cynics observe that our education system can
no longer produce purchasing managers who can order the correct size of

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