Western Digital (WD) delivered a solid quarterly result by current standards but reflected a cautious stance toward the potential positive impact of Windows 8 on the PC industry.
Right now, it appears WD is counting more on the second generation of Windows 8 products based on Intel's Haswell processors rather than the current product generation.
WD sold 62.5 million HDDs in Q3, up from 57.8 million one year ago. Revenue was up from $2.7 billion to $4.0 billion, while the profit dropped from $260 million to $239 million.
The company projected a total market volume of about 140 million HDDs for Q4, which is rather low given the fact that Microsoft is launching Windows 8. The Q2 market was at about 157 million units, but declined, according to WD, to 140 million in Q3, which means that the company does not see an uptick for Q4.
Asked about Windows 8, president Stephen Milligan said that there has not been enough excitement for Windows 8 products. "We're trying to do our best in terms of some of these hybrid designs and smaller form factor designs that maybe enable our customers to have a little bit of excitement back to the product set," he said.
The opportunity is clearly seen in hybrid drives, but the products that count apparently will not be in the market this year. "What we're doing right now is providing engineering samples to our customers," Milligan said. "In the first half of calendar year 2013, we will be supplying call samples and gearing up for volume kind of activity the back half of 2013." This timing aligns closely with the launch of Intel's Haswell processor in Q2 of next year.