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While solid state drives (SSDs) promise massive performance increases along with boosted reliability compared to hard disk drives (HDDs), not a lot of customers adopt them now since actual benefits are not obvious. According to chief exec of SanDisk, the world’s largest maker of flash-based products, Windows Vista is to blame for that as it is not optimized for SSDs.

“As soon as you get into Vista applications in notebook and desktop, you start running into very demanding applications because Windows Vista is not optimized for Flash memory solid state disk,” said Eli Harari, chief executive officer of SanDisk, during a conference call with financial analysts.

Even though SanDisk is the world’s largest producer of flash-based products, it is considerably behind its competitors with SSDs: the company recently unveiled solid state drives for low-end computers, however, the firm still does not have SSDs for high-performance systems due to the lack of appropriate controllers that demonstrate proper speed in Windows Vista environment.

We have very good internal controller technology, as you know. […] That said, I would say that we are now behind because we did not fully understand, frankly, the limitations in the Vista environment. When we acquired M-System, M-System had very, very good industrial grade solid state disk and this is our first generation products. Unfortunately, their performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs and that is why we need to develop the next generation [controllers], which we’ll start sampling end of this year, early next year,” explained Mr. Harari.

According to the head of SanDisk, next-generation controllers inside SSDs should solve the problems caused by insufficient optimization of Windows Vista operating system. Solving the issues should help to increase performance of solid state drives, which should boost the demand towards promising storage devices.

“The next generation controllers need to basically compensate for Vista shortfalls,” Mr. Harari claimed.

The market of solid state drives is very tiny at the moment, however, it is growing and it is important for companies to establish their positions now.


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