At $595 for an 80-gigabyte drive, these devices won't appeal to the mass market quite yet. You can get a full terabyte of disk space for less than $200 from well-respected brands like Seagate
Fortunately, that's not hard to do. An SSD can access data much faster than a traditional spinning magnetic disk ever could, while drawing less power and making no noise at all. Lacking moving parts and being much smaller than the old disks, flash-based drives are ideal for data-hungry handheld gadgets like smartphones and tablet PCs.
On the other end of the spectrum, data center managers love the long mean time between failure and low-power operation. And then there are the niche markets. Motorola
I could go on, but the point I'm making is very simple. SSD storage is growing into its breeches very quickly, and Intel wants a piece of that action. With apologies to Samsung and Toshiba, Intel's entry in this sector brings a whole new level of respectability to the whole market, and all of these players will benefit from journalists and IT managers paying closer attention to solid-state moves. Selling more of these items will also help alleviate the long-running oversupply of flash memory chips, stabilizing gadget prices and manufacturer margins.
Welcome to the party, Intel. The other guys missed you.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure can live happily on an old hard disk, but would prefer a spiffy new SSD.