Western Digital appear to have a problem. When at a product launch this week in Australia for their new WD Live Hub device, which was demonstrated by posting images to Facebook and the running of a YouTube video, the company then went on to describe cloud computing as a risk for consumers.
Claiming that cloud computing was an unstable environment, Philip Cheung, Product Manager for WD Live Hub, was left embarrassed when it was pointed out that his Facebook page, where he demonstrated images being posted and the YouTube video which he had just shown, were hosted on cloud computing servers which also host hundreds of millions of videos and consumer images.
At first Cheung said that cloud computing was “unreliable” and that consumers ran the risk of losing “precious” images.
When it was pointed out to Cheung that he had just spent 10 minutes posting his own personal images to a Facebook page, which was hosted by a cloud computing server he said “You’ve got a point”.
Business Development Manager for Western Digital in Australia, Damien Hodge said that his company was currently selling millions of WD hard drives to cloud computing providers such as Google.
He also admitted that cloud computing could be a threat, as consumers dump external or built in drives for cloud computing services, which in the future could hurt consumer sales of drives which deliver higher margins than cloud computing operators pay.
At this week’s launch WD introduced a $299, 1TB drive that’s been dressed up to deliver and manage content, but the big question is whether this is actually needed as all the software built into the device can actually be found on most Windows or Apple PCs.
DLNA certified devices such as TVs and Blu ray players and media centres are now appearing in stores and a lot of the new TVs come with an Internet connection. The new Toshiba top end TVs also have wireless built in which eliminates the need for a storage device similar to the WD Live Hub.
For those who don’t have an IP or DLNA certified TV the use of a storage hub like the WD product makes sense, but over time the use of external storage devices is going to disappear either into a cloud environment or onto high volume small drives or SD card type devices built into a TV say analysts from DisplaySearch.