Iomega sub-1p-per-Mb tape on tap

Iomega and Sony Electronics will tomorrow attempt to turn the tape market upside down with a low-cost 2Gb drive and cartridges that sell for half the price of rival products.

Iomega will add the drive to its Ditto range, luring SoHo users with a £150 + VAT price for the drive and tape cartridges that sell for £15 per unit, or 0.75 pence per megabyte. Sony will also sell the drives and manufacture media under its own name. The drives will read and write up to 2Gb of data and will be backwards-compatible with other Travan standard capacities.

The drives are expected to ship with Seagate's new Direct Tape Access software that lets users control data held on tape as if it were on disk, with fast search controls and drag-and-drop capabilities. Seagate is also planning to bundle the software with Internet browsers, in an attempt to make tape an attractive medium for memory-hogging downloads.

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