Western Digital brings little black book to region

Hard drive vendor Western Digital (WD) today unveiled its new line of external hard disks for consumers, called ‘MyBook’. This product family initially comprises two models – the MyBook Essential Edition and MyBook Premium Edition - which are Xbox-esque in style and will be available in capacities ranging from 160- to 500Gbytes

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By  Matthew Wade Published  April 4, 2006

Hard drive vendor Western Digital (WD) today unveiled its new line of external hard disks for consumers, called ‘MyBook’. This product family initially comprises two models – the MyBook Essential Edition and MyBook Premium Edition - which are Xbox-esque in style and will be available in capacities ranging from 160- to 500Gbytes. According to WD, the MyBook has been designed to give consumers exactly what they want. “We conducted 1200 interviews with consumers across Europe to find out what they really want from an external hard disk product,” said Daniel Mauerhofer, the firm’s senior public relations manager for the EMEA region. “Most important is reliability,” Mauerhofer added. “Five years ago for instance, people stored mainly office documents on these disks, but now this content is becoming much more personalised. Secondly, consumers want a product that is easy to use, they don’t want to see lots of confusing buttons.” To this end, the IEEO-designed MyBook adopts a minimalist look, featuring as it does just a backlit circular motif down the ‘spine’ of the book, plus USB 2.0 and power adaptor connectors around the back. (The Premium version also adds a Firewire 400 connection and turns the MyBook’s circular light into a capacity gauge, in effect similar to a car’s petrol indicator.) On the software front, both MyBook models include file management software, which WD claims installs automatically when the MyBook is first connected to the PC (negating the need for a supplied CD-ROM). Notably however, only the Premium version of the MyBook offers software that buyers can use to back-up the data from their PC onto the MyBook. When quizzed about this today, Mauerhofer suggested that this omission might be remedied in the future. “The My Book family is the next generation in external storage,” claimed Hafeez Khawaja, WD’s senior regional director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. “Consumers of digital media today are a much broader set of the population than in the past, and they want external storage that is easy to use and has an appealing design. With My Book, WD merges these attributes with the quality and reliability that our customers worldwide have come to expect.” WD’s team today explained that MyBook products had already reached some regional distributors and should therefore hit stores shortly. However, pricing for the firm’s two MyBooks has still to be finalised. The two versions of the MyBook launched today should be followed by a Network Attached Storage (NAS) version later in the year. WD is also looking at adding ‘daisy-chaining’ functionality to the MyBook and will also this year, according to Mauerhofer, provide a case that can hold up to four MyBooks for just this purpose.

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