The Trending Clouds
Mary is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Cloud computing has become a revolution, or revelation to some, in the way we think about purchasing technology. No longer do you need the larger hard drives. What is smaller than a flash drive? Air. Flash drives are truly going the way of the floppy disk.
As a student, when I had to give PowerPoint presentations, I had to tote my presentation around on a flash drive, pray that the driver would be compatible with the classroom computer, and hope that I wouldn't lose it in the process. Towards the end of my college career, my classmates and I began emailing our presentations to ourselves. That way we could just open our email and download the presentation from there. Cloud computing just took this idea a bit further. My husband's office has adopted cloud computing and they love not having to tote around large files everywhere they go. They just put it on the cloud and access it as needed. So hard drives are no longer a deciding factor in purchasing computers. External drives are slowly being phased out.
Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) primarily produces hard drives. They are most widely recognized for the My Passport brand name. Shares of WDC fell almost 15% friday morning on fears of rising costs and weaker prices. WDC attributes this to a flood in Thailand that disrupted operations and triggered a shortage in hard disk drives. Seagate Technology (NASDAQ: STX) also saw a sharp fall friday morning. The hard disk drive manufacturer saw a dive of around 9% in reaction to commentary on WDC. These old school disk drive manufacturers had better become accustomed to such news. As cloud computing takes hold, they are finding themselves in direct competition with companies such as ecommerce powerhouse Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
Amazon has their own cloud service readily available which one can even access GPU's and software through. It is a new product from someone that is known for their impeccable customer service. Plus, they already have a widespread and loyal customer base. The old school technology companies are already behind. They either need to grow with the time or find another product to push. Hard disk drives are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Also, Amazon shares rose 15% Friday morning. They are certainly not hurting from weaker pricing.
Western Digital does offer My Book Live, which allows the user to create their own personal cloud. This is a great new product, but it is not widely advertised. And unlike Amazon's cloud service, you don't have access to added software and processing capabilities that are unaffordable to purchase on your own. However, Western Digital does make the cloud more secure, since you know exactly where your files are stored. So there are those that will see the value in that. Seagate, however, is making no advances in cloud computing technology. They are still manufacturing external, portable devices that you have to drag around with you.
Hard drives are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Why would you want to carry around a flash drive that you might lose when you can just have it stored in the cloud? It is there whenever or wherever you need it. Why would an executive want to carry around a heavy laptop with the biggest hard drive when he can access all of the information he needs on a tablet or a smartphone? Hard drives are nearing their end and manufacturers such as Western Digital and Seagate need to move to keep up or diversify into other technologies.
MaryPosey has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, and Western Digital. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Amazon.com. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.