WinHEC To Feature Hybrid Hard Drive, Vista and Longhorn Betas

Samsung Electronics and Microsoft will introduce later this month a production-ready hybrid hard drive (HHD) that combines flash NAND memory with a large disk drive to dramatically speed system bootups, a Korean paper reports.

The article, which appeared a week ago in the Korea Times, said the companies would debut the new drive on May 24 at Microsoft's annual Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle. The story was spotted and picked up by techie news site, among others.

Samsung's drive will work with Microsoft's ReadyDrive software for Windows Vista, which was created specifically for the HHD, according to the Korea Times story. The two companies showed off a proof of concept of the HHD at last year's WinHEC. Samsung is expected to start selling the HDDs for inclusion in Vista notebooks and PCs later this year.

However, other important announcements are also expected for this year's WinHEC, according to industry observers.

Chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates will keynote the conference, along with Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Server and Tools business. Muglia is ultimately responsible for delivering Longhorn Server to market.

On the list of possible announcements: shipment of the broad consumer Beta 2 of Windows Vista, as well as Beta 2 of Longhorn Server. Both betas are due by the end of the first half of the year and, with Vista now officially late and Longhorn slipping into the second half of 2007, Microsoft is under pressure to prove that both key products are meeting milestones on the current schedule. (See "Longhorn Server - Slip Sliding Away?" April 26, 2006)

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.