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Seagate Lays Off Maxtor Workers, Introduces New Models

Even as Seagate Technology is still working through the integration of its recently purchased competitor Maxtor, the company rolled out a series of new storage products earlier this month.

Seagate’s ongoing assimilation of Maxtor continued on several fronts. According to published reports, Seagate announced that more than 600 Maxtor employees would be let go as of Aug.1 and it would close its Fremont, Calif., facility.

Seagate did not return phone calls.

Jim Druckrey, Seagate’s VP/branded solutions GM, said the company is now working toward creating two distinct product lines that will be fully fleshed out by the next International CES in January 2007. At that time, the Maxtor brand will consists of more mass-market-type storage products, while devices sporting the Seagate name will have more of a lifestyle orientation. Druckrey declined to give further product specifics; however, he did say that Seagate is in the process of increasing the size of its retail product development staff and opening a new office to house the expected 140 workers. At this time last year, about 10 Seagate staffers worked on the company’s retail products, Drucker said.

The Seagate-branded product introductions ran the gamut from a new home server to a bulked-up pocket drive as the company positions itself as the storage supplier for what it envisions as a world where entertainment can be accessed anywhere, said Rob Pait, Seagate’s global marketing director.

Seagate is positioning itself for a world, which Pait expects to exist in about five years, where content will be downloaded from a variety of sources and then wirelessly swapped from gadget to gadget around a home. And at each stop a large amount of storage capacity will have to exist to hold the consumer’s movies, music, photos and home videos, he said.

The digital hub for the company is its Mirra Sync & Share Personal server 2.0. The two-unit line will ship this month in 320GB and 500GB capacities with respective suggested retail prices of $499 and $599. From the server customers will be able to store and share over the Web whatever content they own or created, Pait said.

At the other end of the product spectrum is the 8MB Pocket Drive which will ship in July with a $149 suggested retail price. It replaces the 5MB version that was introduced last year.

In the component segment of its business Seagate unveiled a 1.8-inch 60GB for use in portable media devices, a 2.5-inch for game consoles now with 60GB and 80GB capacities and a 3.5-inch desktop drive holding 750GB of data.