Five Vendors That Came To Win This Week

Western Digital Overtakes Seagate In Hard Drives

Western Digital has been chasing Seagate with coyote-like intensity in the hard drive market, and this week, its dogged pursuit paid off.

Western Digital shipped about 51.5 million hard drives in the first quarter, compared to Seagate’s shipments of approximately 50.3 million drives, according to new data from analyst firm iSuppli. Western Digital's hard drive shipments grew 61.7 percent compared to last year's first quarter, while Seagate's grew 31 percent.

Seagate's revenue was higher, but Western Digital has all the momentum in this race and is poised to continue giving Seagate plenty of business-related headaches.

Intel Paves Way For Atom Everywhere

Intel's making the case that Atom-brand processors can go far beyond its traditional desktop, notebook and server business. At Computex this week, Intel outlined product plans that include Atom processors tailored for tablet PCs, handhelds, smartphones, TVs and more.

At Computex, Chinese car company HawTai Automobile said it's basing a future in-vehicle entertainment system on the Atom processor and the MeeGo software platform. Meanwhile, Intel, Google, Sony and Logitech are collaborating on the recently unveiled Google TV project, which will include ’smart TVs’ based on Intel’s consumer electronics-optimized Atom processors and Google’s Android operating system.

Intel is thinking big with Atom, and judging from the variety of different products under development, it's not the only company that feels this way.

Nokia Uses Bicycles To Charge Mobile Devices

Mobile phones have revolutionized communications, but in areas where electricity is limited, they often end up as useless hunks of chips, metal and plastic. This week in Nairobi, Kenya, Nokia unveiled its latest C-series phones as well as a bicycle-powered battery charger that could solve the problem of keeping devices functioning even in remote areas.

The bicycle charger kit consists of a charger and dynamo, or small electrical generator, as well as a holder to secure the phone to the bike. The dynamo uses the movement of the wheels to charge the handset through a standard 2mm charging jack used in most Nokia mobile phones.

There's a lot of hype around Green IT, but Nokia's bicycle charger is an example of a simple device that espouses the idea of making the most out of limited resources.

Google Makes It Easy To Kick Tires On Google Docs

Google has been vigorously promoting Google Docs in the wake of Microsoft's Office 2010 launch. This week, in a bid to make it as easy as possible for people to test out Google Docs, the search giant launched a new Web site where folks can test out full-fledged Google Apps offerings without signing up for a Google account.

Microsoft requires a Windows Live ID for just about everything they offer, and Google in this case may be trying to set up yet another contrast between its office productivity software and that of its larger competitor.

AMD Poaches Chip Talent From Nvidia

AMD has lured Manju Hegde away from Nvidia in order to help grow its heterogeneous computing ecosystem ahead of the launch of its first Fusion processors in the first half of 2011.

Hegde, who helped integrate PhysX hardware acceleration into Nvidia’s CUDA framework after Nvidia bought his company, Ageia, is now head of AMD’s Fusion Experience Program, tasked with building the developer ecosystem for AMD's Accelerated Processing Units.

Bringing in Hegde is an aggressive move by AMD and one that shows its resolve to march into GPU and heterogeneous computing after years on the sidelines.

For our roundup of vendors that dropped the ball this week, click here.