Western Digital fired the latest shot in the hard drive warranty war this week by upping the coverage period on its enterprise drives to five years, and extending the desktop and notebook warranty durations to three years.
That said, the move comes some way behinds WD's rival HDD suppliers. Maxtor increased the warranty periods on its enterprise and desktop drives to five and three years, respectively, in November 2004. It did so in response to Seagate's move in July 2004, to bring its desktop drive warranty periods into line with the one it applies to enterprise products: five years.
WD's new warranty terms apply to appropriate drives bought through official channel partners on or after 1 June.
"Many of our customers offer three-year warranties on their desktop and notebook systems and five-year warranties on their servers," said WD president and COO Arif Shakeel. "WD's new warranty policy aligns with the industry standards and meets or exceeds customer expectations."
The moves from all three HDD makers and other drive manufacturers follows end-user fears that falling drive prices might result in cost-cutting measures that would impact drive reliability. As prices have tumbled, vendors have been keen to make it clear this is not the case. ®