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Seagate

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Seagate has released a new NAS unit, powered by Storage Server 2012 R2, aimed at small to medium sized businesses.  Read on for details.

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Seagate has released a new NAS unit, powered by Storage Server 2012 R2, aimed at small to medium sized businesses.  Here is the press release:

November 18, 2013Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today introduced the latest addition to the company’s business storage product offerings, Seagate® Business Storage Windows® Server 4-bay NAS. Designed for offices or workgroups with up to 50 employees, this new 4-bay NAS centralises storage to allow access, collaboration and sharing of files securely from all computers within a business network, while simultaneously hosting PC backups in one central location.

“Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 introduces groundbreaking new storage functionality for organisations of all sizes, and the Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS takes advantage of these advances to serve the growing demand from small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Brian Hillger, director, product marketing, Microsoft. “We are happy to have collaborated with Seagate in developing a NAS solution that integrates into existing server infrastructures.”

Seamless Windows Integration

Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS makes it easy to expand into a branch office or add local storage to an existing network because it’s designed specifically for businesses utilising an existing Windows IT infrastructure. With native support for Active Directory, management of users is easy with simple setup through an existing directory instead of the manual entry of users for access and control on each device. Perfect for the IT pro, the Windows Storage server seamlessly integrates into existing Windows environments, including complete compatibility with Active Directory.

“Seagate takes great pride in our ability to develop specialised solutions for a wide-range of business storage use cases,” said Scott Horn vice president of global marketing for Seagate. “As businesses grow, they will need a simple way to seamlessly integrate more storage capacity within their existing business applications. The new Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS provides a reliable yet simple data management and data protection solution for these fast-growing small business customers.”

Keep Business Critical Data Secure

Windows Storage Spaces helps protect your data by storing redundant copies on multiple disks. The BitLocker encryption provides peace of mind in knowing that files are secure from unauthorised access. Windows Storage Spaces automatically manages installed drives to give you the best blend of capacity and redundancy.

“Growing small businesses demand dependability and security for their data storage, backups and transactions,” said Richard Doherty, research director for The Envisioneering Group. “Seagate’s employment of Windows Server 2012 in the company’s latest addition to their new Business Storage portfolio delivers on these storage demands that are so central to the growth of small businesses.”

Performance at a Value

The Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS delivers on performance at an affordable price point for small to medium businesses.

  • Powered by a 2.13 GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor combined with Windows Storage Server 2012 to deliver incredible network file transfer performance.
  • Featuring best in class hard drives optimised for NAS to support customised error recovery controls, specialised power management and vibration tolerance for optimum performance and reliability, Seagate NAS HDD drives provide the best performing high-capacity storage for NAS servers.

Support for third-party Windows Server add-ins allows a business to do even more with a Windows Server enabling the 4-bay NAS to be customised for specific business needs. Additionally, Seagate has developed and included System Monitoring software that simplifies management by integrating the most common tasks into a single interface. Plus, the built-in support for iSCSI enables maximum performance and compatibility for virtualised environments.

“HDD manufacturers, such as Seagate, are uniquely positioned in the SMB NAS market given their expertise to integrated workload-optimised HDDs into a multi-bay Windows Storage Server device,” stated Mark Geenen, president of TRENDFOCUS. “Seagate’s NAS-specific HDDs include datacenter-class features tuned for smaller multi-drive racks, ensuring high performance, reliability and affordability for a wide range of small and medium business environments.”

Pricing and Availability

Seagate Business Storage Windows Server 4-bay NAS comes in a range of capacities from 8TB for $1599.99 MSRP to a high capacity 16TB for $1999.99 MSRP to meet the needs of IT professionals with existing Windows Servers systems deployed.

The pricing quoted above is for a unit with hard drives installed.  This looks like an interesting option for businesses needing reliable storage.

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ASUSTOR today announced that they are supporting three of the new Seagate NAS hard drive products.  Read on for details.

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ASUSTOR today announced that they are supporting three of the new Seagate NAS hard drive products.  Seagate announced the NAS HDD line a few months ago.  This line competes with the Western Digital Red hard drive line, and now ASUSTOR has announced support for them in their line of NAS products.  Check out this video from Seagate that talks about these drives:

And now for ASUSTOR’s press release:

ASUSTOR Announces Compatibility with 3 New Seagate® NAS Hard Drives

Taipei, Taiwan, June 18th, 2013 – ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced today that all of its NAS products are fully compatible with Seagate’s newly launched range of NAS hard drives. These hard drives come in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB models with their model numbers being ST2000VN000, ST3000VN000 and ST4000VN000. By supporting these hard drives, ASUSTOR is able to give its users greater flexibility and choice when configuring their network attached storage devices.

ASUSTOR NAS are the first NAS devices in the world to be designed entirely around an App-based concept. Built on a stable and high performance hardware platform, ASUSTOR NAS devices provides users with an intuitive UI that closely resembles the simplicity enjoyed on most tablet computers. After installing hard drives onto the NAS device, users will be able to set up their very own personal cloud server in just a few easy steps. Additionally, users can download any NAS Apps of their choice from ASUSTOR’s App Central, expanding functionality and creating a customized device for themselves.

ASUSTOR NAS devices are suitable for use with 2.5” and 3.5” hard drives from a wide range of world-renowned brands. For a complete list of compatible hard drives please visit the official ASUSTOR website: http://www.asustor.com.

These drives are also supported by D-Link, Drobo, Lacie, Lenovo, QNAP, Seagate, Synology, and Thecus for their NAS products.  If you are a customer of ASUSTOR, you now have new options for hard drives intended for NAS use from Seagate!  The 4TB version runs about $210 on NewEgg, so check it out today.

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Seagate announced a new product aimed at centralizing storage in the home, called  Seagate Central.  Read on for details.

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Seagate announced a new product aimed at centralizing storage in the home, called Seagate Central.  The idea here is to deliver a device that backs up and stores all of your photos, music, movies, and documents, and allows you to stream content to all of your devices inside and outside the home.  Would you like a simple solution, easy to install, that allows you to stream to the iPad, TV, Android phone and other devices in the home, even when you are on the road?  Then this product is aimed at you.  Watch this video to get a better idea of the product and what it does.

And here is the press release.

Organize Your Home With Seagate Central Shared Storage

2013-01-06

New Award-winning, Simplified Network Backup Solution Easily Brings Access and Sharing to All Your Files

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, LAS VEGAS, NV — Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today announced, its next-generation, networked home storage solution, Seagate® Central shared storage, the first storage device to feature a Smart TV app for access to files on the big screen. A CES 2013 Innovations Honoree, Seagate Central delivers automatic backup for the entire home, access to digital movies and music from networked devices, as well as remote access from outside a home network. Seagate has also taken a new step in making Central storage a low-profile horizontal design, which takes cues from home entertainment and looks great in any living room.

Simple, Central – Multi-Computer Backup
Seagate built this product for simplicity. By focusing on the number one need for homes with more than one computer, Seagate designed an easy, centralized backup for each computer in the home, regardless of operating system. Seagate retooled the software and user experience for the Seagate Central shared storage so that it seamlessly provides a backup for each system on a home network, even in a mixed platform environment of Windows OS and Mac OS X computers. In addition to automatic and continuous backup of all the computers in a home, Seagate Central can also backup photos and videos directly from Facebook, a feature first introduced in the award-winning Backup Plus line of external drives.

“This is the ideal backup solution for the family of today, who increasingly have multiple computers, tablets and smart phones,” said Scott Horn, vice president of marketing at Seagate. “We focused on what would make Central easy to use in a home setting. Consumers will find Central storage is easy-to-use as a backup solution with great-looking apps that deliver access to people’s content from the world’s most popular mobile devices, as well as Samsung Smart televisions and Blu-ray players.”

A recent study from Parks Associates found consumers keep content in a wide variety of places including sites like Facebook. The average broadband household has 8% of their music, video, and photo content on social networking sites.

“Consumers are looking for storage solutions that help them consolidate and safeguard the content they’ve got scattered across a growing number of places,” said John Barrett, director of Consumer Analytics at Parks Associates. “Young consumers in particular do not have central repositories of content but rather many places where content naturally ends-up as a result of their media habits.”

Enjoy Your Movies and Music
In addition to its primary role as a total home backup device to organize content in one location, Central storage is also designed for easy media streaming. Once all your files and rich media are safely on the drive, Central storage organizes the content for you according to media type, such as videos, pictures, music and documents. Seagate then makes it easier than ever before to access entertainment and documents by providing free apps for Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as Apple® iOS devices, Amazon Kindle HD and Android mobile devices. Central is DLNA certified and also works with Apple® AirPlay®, which means nearly any network-connected device can connect to it.

New App, New Look,
The newly designed Seagate Media app, available for Android, Kindle Fire HD and Apple iOS, delivers a seamless, user-friendly experience for accessing, downloading or sharing files from Seagate Central shared storage. The experience is the same within the network or connecting to Central storage remotely. Files are easy to enjoy through the visually appealing app interface. Everything is organized by category as well as folder view. The Seagate media app and Seagate Central storage will ensure that you always have access to the files you need when you need them.

Pricing and Availability:
Seagate Central Shared storage will be available in March of this year for the following MSRP(s) of 2TB, $189.99; 3TB, $219.99; 4TB, $259.99.

About CES Innovations Awards:
The prestigious Innovations Design and Engineering Awards are sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the producer of the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, and have been recognizing achievements in product design and engineering since 1976.

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Seagate has announced a new 2.5” HDD for use in 24/7 applications, such as surveillance and set top boxes.  Read on for details.

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Seagate has announced a new 2.5” HDD for use in 24/7 applications, such as surveillance and set top boxes. Here is the press release:

New Seagate Video 2.5 HDD Delivers Industry Leading Reliability and Energy Efficiency

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) today announced the Seagate Video 2.5 HDD, a 2.5-inch drive specifically engineered for use in 24/7 video applications like digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs), and surveillance applications.

The Video 2.5 HDD delivers superior performance and operation in three key areas of importance to manufacturers — high reliability, acoustics, and energy efficiency. Featuring best in class reliability, the drive has an annual failure rate of approximately 0.55, based on current configurations, enabling it to keep product in the field longer while reducing the cost of field deployment and maintaining customer retention. It also boasts 24/7 operation capabilities in extended temperature ranges and enhanced acoustics for near silent operation — features crucial for consumer electronics and video applications.

The Video 2.5 HDD provides home entertainment manufacturers one and two disk, cost-optimized solutions for today’s high-definition (HD) video recording applications. Featuring capacities up to 500 GB, manufacturers can benefit from its lower-power performance and slim form factor without sacrificing the streaming capabilities or reliability of Seagate’s 3.5-inch video drive. Its low power consumption, 24×7 operation, and support of up to 12 streams of simultaneous HD content also make it ideal for surveillance DVR applications.

“We pioneered the HDD video market more than a decade ago and as such are leveraging our vast knowledge of this technology to bring consumers the most reliable video drive in the world,” said Scott Horn, Seagate vice president of Marketing. “The CE industry has extremely specific criteria and needs when it comes to storage and the Video 2.5 HDD is built to meet and exceed their rigorous demands.”

The living-room environment requires superior acoustic management to limit audible distractions during operation of DVRs and STBs and the Video 2.5 HDD enables designers to build the quietest home entertainment systems possible. Operating below the range of audible sound for the human ear at just 22db, the drive provides optimized acoustics for home entertainment components.

Maintaining Seagate’s goal of delivering sustainable products, the drive reduces packaging materials by 53 percent and overall freight up to 30 percent, over previous 3.5-inch offerings, by efficiently packing and shipping more units with fewer materials than larger drives. It also contributes to sustainable energy initiatives by achieving a 55 percent improvement in power savings over comparable 3.5-inch offerings, enabling system integrators to meet aggressive new energy requirements.

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Seagate announced the completion of the Lacie acquisition.  Read on for details.

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We told you about Seagate’s pending purchase of Lacie here.  On Friday, Seagate announced the completion of the acquisition of a controlling interest in Lacie.  Here is what they announced on Friday:

CUPERTINO, CA and PARIS, FRANCE – Following their press releases issued on May 23, 2012 and June 14, 2012, Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) and LaCie S.A. (Euronext: LAC) announced today the completion of the purchase by Seagate of all of the shares of Philippe Spruch and his affiliate, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie for a provisional price of €4.05 per share. The price payable to Philippe Spruch and his affiliate may be increased by 3%, to €4.17 per share, in the event that within six months following today’s date, Seagate holds at least 95% of the share capital and voting rights of LaCie.

The completion of the transaction follows the required clearances from the French Ministry of Finance and the US and German Antitrust Authorities.

As a result of the completion of the transaction, Seagate intends to file in the coming weeks with the French Autorité des marches financiers an all-cash simplified tender offer on the remaining LaCie shares.

As previously announced, Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés has been appointed as independent expert by the Board of Directors of LaCie on May 23, 2012.

Following discussions with the Board of Directors of LaCie, in particular with the independent members, Seagate has increased the proposed offer price at which it will file its tender offer to €4.50 per LaCie share (without an additional 3% price supplement in the event that a squeeze-out procedure is implemented). Seagate may carry out a squeeze-out procedure at the same price of €4.50 per LaCie share if it were to hold at least 95% of the shares and voting rights of LaCie.

The Board of Directors welcomes the revised offer price and intends to support the revised offer as long as the final report of the independent expert affirms the valuation.

Seagate will continue to purchase the remaining shares with an all-cash offer to take out the remaining shareholders.  Seagate’s rationale for the acquisition was offered up in our first article on this transaction:

“Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “We are also excited that Philippe, who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products organization.”

“With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow,” said Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world.”

The fit seems sensible here; with Lacie’s strength in the consumer space and the additions to the premium NAS line, Seagate seems to be strengthening their position in the consolidating storage market.

Seagate shares closed at $32.59, up $0.69.

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Seagate announced preliminary Q4 2012 results the other day, missing earnings and gorss margin expectations.  Read on for details.

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Seagate announced preliminary Q4 results the other day.  Sales were $4.5 billion, shy of the target of $5 billion, and non-GAAO gross margins were 33.6% compared to the expectation of 34.5%.  Here is what they said:

Seagate Technology Announces Selected Preliminary Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) today announced selected preliminary financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2012, which ended on June 29, 2012.

Seagate expects to report record revenue of approximately $4.5 billion and non-GAAP gross margin of 33.6%. These preliminary results compare to the Company’s previous expectations for revenue of at least $5 billion and non-GAAP gross margin of at least 34.5%.

Seagate expects to report record unit shipments for the June quarter of approximately 66 million, reflecting approximately 45 exabytes of storage capacity and maintaining approximately 42% market share. During the quarter the company paid $1.2 billion to redeem over 45 million ordinary shares and exited June with 396 million basic shares outstanding. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and short term investments totaled $2.2 billion at the end of the June quarter.

“Seagate expects to report another record quarter of revenue in the June quarter, however we did not meet our expected revenue and margin plan,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman and chief executive officer.

“The June quarter’s shortfall was due primarily to two factors. First, we did not achieve our planned market share growth as we reduced shipments in response to the industry’s faster than expected recovery from their supply chain disruption. Second, we experienced an isolated supplier quality issue that affected one of our enterprise product lines. This product issue impacted enterprise product unit shipments by approximately 1.5 million units and drove our non-GAAP gross margin below our targeted plan. While this disruption to our business was disappointing, we acted quickly and conservatively by suspending shipments of the affected products. We have resolved the issue and have resumed fulfilling our supply commitments to customers.”

Luczo continued, “Based on the macro-economic concerns indicated by a broad base of customers, we are approaching the September quarter conservatively and aligning our business for a relatively flat addressable market and modest improvements in our product mix. We are adjusting our production and inventory planning accordingly, and we expect average selling prices and margins to remain relatively stable in the September quarter. We also continue to expect to exit the calendar year with non-GAAP gross margins exceeding 30%.”

Full Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results

Seagate will report full fiscal fourth quarter 2012 financial results on Monday, July 30, 2012 after the close of the market. A conference call for the investment community will take place at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The conference call can be accessed online at www.seagate.com/investors.

A replay will be available beginning July 30 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time through August 6 at 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time. The replay can be accessed through Seagate’s website at www.seagate.com/investors.

About Seagate

Seagate is the world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions. Learn more at www.seagate.com.

Seagate closed today at $25.36, down 2.34% on the day.

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Seagate and Haifa, Israel-based DensBit announced a strategic agreement for development of SSD’s.  Read on for details.

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Seagate and DensBits announced a strategic agreement to join forces in the SSD business, with Seagate making an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits.  Here is the annoucement:

Seagate Makes Equity Investment in DensBits

Cupertino, CA and Haifa, Israel, — Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and DensBits Technologies Ltd (“DensBits”) the inventor of the world’s first Memory ModemTM have announced today a strategic agreement for the development of low-cost, high-performance Solid State Drives (“SSD”) for the consumer and enterprise markets. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits.

Seagate and DensBits are joining forces, to develop future products that are intended to provide customers with significant cost savings, extremely high reliability, and unparalleled performance. Under the agreement, DensBits’ Memory ModemTM controller technology will be integrated with Seagate’s various storage technologies to power a wide range of consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (“TLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (“MLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD.

“For the last 30 years, Seagate has delivered technology and product innovation to become the global leader in storage solutions, from high-end enterprise drives to solid-state hybrid drives,” said Rocky Pimentel, Seagate chief sales and marketing officer. “Seagate is excited to be working with the talented DensBits team and believes we have a significant opportunity with our new strategic relationship to extend our leadership into the SSD market.”

“We are very excited at the opportunity of collaborating with Seagate,” said Ilan Hen, DensBits’ Chairman and CEO. “This is yet another testament to our technology leadership, and we strongly believe that the coupling between DensBits’ unique Memory ModemTM controller technology and Seagate’s exceptional storage capabilities across the board could truly disrupt the industry.”

Seagate closed the day at $24.12, up $0.85, or 3.65% today.

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Seagate and LaCie today announced the signing of binding share purchase agreements for a controlling interest in LaCie.  Read on for details.

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Back on May 23rd, we told you about Seagate’s intention to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie.  Here is what we told you:

Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today announced their intent to acquire the shares of French storage concern LaCie (EuroNext: LAC) for between €4.05 and €4.17, depending on net debt levels at the closing date. The lower end of the range represents a premium of 29% over LaCie’s trading range for the last 30 days. The total transaction would be about €146 million/$186 million. Here is what the press release states as the rationale for the deal:

The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate’s growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

Today, Seagate and LaCie announced that the deal had been finalized, with valuation between €4.05 and €4.17 per share, depending on debt levels at the closing date.  Here is what Seagate announced today:

CUPERTINO, Calif. & PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Following their press release issued on May 23, 2012 announcing exclusive negotiations and the receipt on June 8, 2012 of the opinion of the employee representative body of LaCie S.A. (Euronext:LAC), Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) and LaCie announced today that Seagate, Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, have entered into a binding share purchase agreement to purchase all of the shares of Philippe Spruch and his affiliate, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie for a provisional price of €4.05 per share (as may be adjusted downwards depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing). As previously announced, Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés have been appointed as independent expert by the Board of Directors of LaCie on June 23, 2012. The transaction has already received clearance from the US Antitrust Authorities but remains subject to regulatory approval in France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and Germany (antitrust filing) and to other customary closing conditions.

Following the acquisition of the control of LaCie, Seagate will file an all-cash simplified tender offer on the remaining LaCie shares at a price of €4.05 (as potentially adjusted downwards as set forth above). This price shall be increased by 3% in the event that a squeeze-out procedure is implemented (as a result of the acquisition of 95% of the shares and voting rights), resulting in a maximum potential price per LaCie share of €4.17.

About Seagate

Seagate is the world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions. Learn more at www.seagate.com.

About LaCie

With operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, LaCie is the leading manufacturer of storage devices for PC, Apple, and Linux. LaCie has differentiated itself through sleek design and remarkable technical performance. Find out more about our products at www.lacie.com.

Seagate closed the day at $24.03, up $0.185, or 0.77% on the day.  LaCie closed at €3.99, down €0.01 on the day.

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Seagate Technology today introduced Backup Plus storage devices – its reinvented consumer storage product family that delivers the easiest setup, one-click backup and the ability to save and share your content on Facebook and Flickr.

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Seagate Backup Plus hard drives are newly designed external storage that work interchangeably with both Windows and Apple computers and deliver new features to protect, share and save nearly every aspect of one’s digital life. These products come loaded with the new hassle-free Seagate Dashboard software for one-click local backup making it easier than ever to eliminate excuses or apprehensions about backing up one’s most valuable digital content. Seagate Backup Plus products are the world’s first external hard drives to provide backup for content on social networks, such as Facebook and Flickr. Storing a local duplicate copy of photos from social networks is now as easy as backing up files on your computer. Seagate Backup Plus will provide the peace of mind that every aspect of one’s digital life is safe from loss.

Backing up data is an absolute necessity that many people put off until after it’s too late. According to a 2011 study by Parks Associates less than one-quarter of the households in the survey have a weekly backup plan for their systems and only 4% are diligent enough to manually perform a backup on a daily basis.

“The idea of providing a backup of photos and videos from Facebook is an interesting one, which I believe may help people come to realize the importance of maintaining multiple copies of any digital asset regardless of where it is stored,” said Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates. “Social media has become a massive repository for personal digital content, and most consumers have not likely considered the possibility of losing access to those shared memories.”

Seagate Backup Plus hard drives featuring the new Seagate Dashboard backup software remove the barriers to performing backup and content preservation by making it as easy as possible. With just a click of an icon, computer files are replicated onto a Backup Plus drive. The Seagate Dashboard included on Backup Plus also provides a single click path to Save (download) and Share (upload) personal photos and videos on Facebook and Flickr.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Seagate and conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 22-24, 2012, more than half (54%) of U.S. adults personally have and/or know someone who has lost files. Over one-quarter (27%) of U.S. adults personally have lost files and found that it was upsetting for them. While almost all (97%) of those surveyed were identified as computer owners; only 11% have a continuous backup plan and only 10% have a daily backup plan.

“Backing up needs to be an essential part of everyone’s digital life. Nearly everything that is dear to us is now in a digital format; from tax documents, to emails, to family photos and video, many of these files can not be recreated in the event of an accidental loss or system failure,” said Scott Horn, vice president of Marketing at Seagate. “Seagate is in the business of keeping digital content and files protected in every aspect, whether it is in the cloud, stored on PC or with our external consumer products. Backup Plus is a product that eliminates the barriers to protecting these digital assets. The new Dashboard delivers a simple and complete backup experience with the added benefit of saving photos and video stored on Facebook and other social networks.”

A Versatile Storage Device

In 2010, Seagate adopted the Universal Storage Module (USM) standard, which enables consumers to easily add the newest Mac® and PC connection capabilities to their Seagate storage product even if these technologies are introduced later. To add yet another level of versatility, Seagate has introduced a way to have the company’s external storage products work cross-platform with both Mac® and Windows operating systems without reformatting.

Seagate Backup Plus Storage

Available immediately from Amazon, BestBuy and other retailers including Seagate.com, Seagate Backup Plus drives will initially be available in capacities of 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities for portable drives and 1TB to 4TB for Backup Plus Desk drives.

This new family of external storage will be available in red, blue, silver and black for the portable 2.5-inch form factor with a manufacturer’s suggested retail prices at launch are: 500GB, $119.99; 750GB, $129.99 and 1TB, $139.99. The Backup Plus Desk 3.5-inch drive: 1TB, $129.99; 2TB, $149.99; 3TB, $179.99 and 4TB, $249.99 MSRP.

Backup Plus for Mac portable is available in silver and will ship in 500GB for an MSRP of $119.99 and 1TB at $139.99. The Backup Plus Desk for Mac will be available at launch for 2TB, $189.99 and 3TB, $209.99 MSRP.

Seagate Slim and Seagate Slim for Mac storage in a svelte 9.5-mm package will now be available in a 500GB capacity at $129.99 MSRP and will also include the new Seagate Dashboard software for simple backup of on-board and social media albums.

Learn more at http://www.seagate.com.

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Seagate and LaCie today announced that Seagate intends to acquire LaCie.  Details follow.

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Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) today announced their intent to acquire the shares of French storage concern LaCie (EuroNext: LAC) for between €4.05 and €4.17, depending on net debt levels at the closing date.  The lower end of the range represents a premium of 29% over LaCie’s trading range for the last 30 days.  The total transaction would be about €146 million/$186 million.  Here is what the press release states as the rationale for the deal:

The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate’s growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

Consolidation in the storage space continues.  Here is the text of the Seagate press release:

Seagate and LaCie Announce Exclusive Agreement with Intent for Seagate to Acquire Controlling Interest in LaCie

Seagate has Offered to Purchase LaCie CEO’s 64.5% Ownership Position; Seagate to Subsequently Commence Tender Offer for Remaining Outstanding Shares

Expands Seagate’s Product Line and Capabilities in the Growing Consumer Storage Market

CUPERTINO, Calif. & PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A. (Euronext: LAC), a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie. Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie. Following receipt of governmental approvals1 and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure) to acquire the remaining outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Seagate has offered Mr. Spruch and his affiliate €4.05 per share in cash, minus a potential adjustment depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing. This price may be increased by a possible price supplement of 3% in the event that the threshold of 95% of the shares and voting rights of LaCie would be reached by Seagate within 6 months following closing, resulting in a maximum potential price per LaCie share of €4.17. Without the price supplement, the offer currently values LaCie at an approximate €146 million, or $186 million total equity value, including acquired net cash of approximately €49 million, or $65 million, as of March 31, 2012. The €4.05 per share price represents a premium of 29% to LaCie’s average closing stock price over the 30 trading days ended May 22, 2012.

Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés was appointed today as independent expert by the board of directors of LaCie, to deliver a fairness opinion on the price that would be offered in the context of the tender offer, including in the perspective of a potential squeeze-out procedure.

The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate’s growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Seagate’s fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

Following the close of the sale of his shares to Seagate, Mr. Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company’s consumer storage products organization. Reporting to him would be Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as vice president and general manager of Seagate’s retail group, as well as Pierre van der Elst, who currently serves as deputy general manager of LaCie. The financial terms of the new position of Mr Spruch are not determined as of today and would therefore be described subsequently, including in the tender offer documentation.

“Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “We are also excited that Philippe, who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products organization.”

“With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow,” said Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world.”

LaCie will initiate the information and consultation process required by its employee representative council in relation to the contemplated transaction, in accordance with French law. Upon completion of this process, Seagate and Mr. Spruch would execute a definitive share purchase agreement and finalize the purchase of the controlling interest held by Mr. Spruch and his affiliate. This share purchase transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012 pending completion of the relevant governmental reviews. Seagate would then commence a tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares of LaCie (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure), subject to a clearance decision from the AMF. The tender offer is expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter of 2012.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States (antitrust filing), France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and other jurisdictions (antitrust filing in Germany) and to other customary closing conditions.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the transaction. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei A.A.R.P.I. served as legal advisor to LaCie.

About Seagate

Seagate is the world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions. Learn more at www.seagate.com.

About LaCie

With operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, LaCie is the leading manufacturer of storage devices for PC, Apple, and Linux. LaCie has differentiated itself through sleek design and remarkable technical performance. Find out more about our products at www.lacie.com.

Seagate stock was trading at $25.70, down 2.58%, at 3:46 PM Eastern time, and LaCie ended the day at €3.34, up 1.83% before trading was halted.

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Seagate have just released a firmware update for its GoFlex satellite drive.

seagate_goflex_satellite

This is what is included:

Version: 1.3.5.015
Released March 2012

  • Ability to join an existing Wi-Fi network (Internet access while connected to the GoFlex Satellite)
  • Support for more than 3 users
  • Password change option located on main screen
  • Support for M4A (MP4) meta data (album art, song title, artists, etc are now displayed in the various menus)
  • A-Z scroll bars added to Movies and Documents screens
  • Option for extended battery life when combined with the current iOS GoFlex Media App (download/play feature on settings page)
  • The ability to toggle between the native video player and GoFlex Media video player for Android App on the settings page

[button link="http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=satellite-firmware&vgnextoid=fef691e833161310VgnVCM1000001a48090aRCRD" style="download"]You can download the 51MB firmware update here[/button]

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Seagate has become the first hard drive maker to achieve the milestone storage density of 1 terabit (1 trillion bits) per square inch, producing a demonstration of the technology that promises to double the storage capacity of today’s hard drives upon its introduction later this decade and give rise to 3.5-inch hard drives with an extraordinary capacity of up to 60 terabytes over the 10 years that follow.

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The bits within a square inch of disk space, at the new milestone, far outnumber stars in the Milky Way, which astronomers put between 200 billion and 400 billion.

Seagate reached the landmark data density with heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), the next-generation recording technology. The current hard drive technology, Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR), is used to record the spectrum of digitized data – from music, photos, and video stored on home desktop and laptop PCs to business information housed in sprawling data centers – on the spinning platters inside every hard drive. PMR technology was introduced in 2006 to replace longitudinal recording, a method in place since the advent of hard drives for computer storage in 1956, and is expected to reach its capacity limit near 1 terabit per square inch in the next few years.

“The growth of social media, search engines, cloud computing, rich media and other data-hungry applications continues to stoke demand for ever greater storage capacity,” said Mark Re, senior vice president of Heads and Media Research and Development at Seagate. “Hard disk drive innovations like HAMR will be a key enabler of the development of even more data-intense applications in the future, extending the ways businesses and consumers worldwide use, manage and store digital content.”

Hard drive manufacturers increase areal density and capacity by shrinking a platter’s data bits to pack more within each square inch of disk space. They also tighten the data tracks, the concentric circles on the disk’s surface that anchor the bits. The key to areal density gains is to do both without disruptions to the bits’ magnetization, a phenomenon that can garble data. Using HAMR technology, Seagate has achieved a linear bit density of about 2 million bits per inch, once thought impossible, resulting in a data density of just over 1 trillion bits, or 1 terabit, per square inch – 55 percent higher than today’s areal density ceiling of 620 gigabits per square inch.

The maximum capacity of today’s 3.5-inch hard drives is 3 terabytes (TB), at about 620 gigabits per square inch, while 2.5-inch drives top out at 750 gigabytes (GB), or roughly 500 gigabits per square inch. The first generation of HAMR drives, at just over 1 terabit per square inch, will likely more than double these capacities – to 6TB for 3.5-inch drives and 2TB for 2.5-inch models. The technology offers a scale of capacity growth never before possible, with a theoretical areal density limit ranging from 5 to 10 terabits per square inch – 30TB to 60TB for 3.5-inch drives and 10TB to 20TB for 2.5-inch drives.

The 1 terabit per square inch demonstration extends a long line of storied technology firsts for Seagate, including:

  • 1980: ST-506, the first hard drive, at 5.25 inches, small enough to be widely deployed in early microcomputers, the precursor of the modern PC. The 5 megabyte drive cost $1,500.
  • 1992: The first 7200RPM hard drive, a Barracuda® drive
  • 1996: The first 10,000RPM hard drive, a Cheetah® drive
  • 2000: The first 15,000RPM drive, also a Cheetah hard drive
  • 2006: Momentus® 5400.3 drive, a 2.5-inch laptop drive and the world’s first drive to feature perpendicular magnetic recording technology
  • 2007: Momentus FDE (Full Disk Encryption) drive, the industry’s first self-encrypting hard drive
  • 2010: Momentus XT drive, the first solid state hybrid hard drive, combining traditional spinning media with NAND flash, to deliver speeds rivaling solid state drives (SSDs)

Seagate achieved the 1 terabit per square inch breakthroughs in materials science and near-field optics at its heads and media research and development centers in Bloomington, Minnesota, and Fremont, California.

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