Iomega Positives, SyQuest Negatives -- Two related stories caught our eye last week. Iomega announced its plans to move the popular Zip drives beyond the computer market and install them in printers, scanners, set-top boxes, projection systems, musical equipment, and medical devices. Although Zip disks aren't remarkably reliable, they're small enough, cheap enough, and sufficiently ubiquitous in the computer world to make the jump to being true consumer devices. It's a bold move - if Iomega can pull it off and figure out how to manage the success that has made the company unprofitable.
Also, Iomega's main competitor in the cutthroat removable storage market, SyQuest Technology, suspended operations and may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. The move follows layoffs in August of 950 employees that cut SyQuest's staff in half. While operations are suspended, SyQuest said it will maintain a limited support staff, although at least for the moment, it appears that "suspended" includes SyQuest's Web site, which wasn't responding to connections. [ACE]