We've spent some time extolling the virtues of solid state drives (they're faster and use way less energy than the ubiquitous platter drives.) But they're expensive, and don't have the capacity of hard disk drives.
Well...what did the automobile industry do when electric cars were more efficient, but not up to snuff in other ways? Hybrids!
Samsung and Microsoft are teaming up to release the first ever hard disk / solid state hybrid drive. The idea is that part of the drive can be solid state (about 1 gig), allowing for quick efficient retrieval of frequently used data (this will probably be the Windows Vista operating system and some virtual RAM), while the hard disks can be used to store massive amounts of data you hardly ever use (your digital picture archive, Backstreet Boys albums or porn, depending on who you are.)
Much of the energy saving benefits of solid state drives will be maintained, while reducing the cost. And possibly even more importantly, we're on our way to computers that boot instantly.
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