You'd be hard-pressed to find standards as ubiquitous as SATA, which is used to plug hard drives into computers. But its success inside the computer chassis turns out to have been a bad predictor of its success outside.
Years ago, SATA allies created a variation of the specification called eSATA that would let people attach hard external hard drives to computers. The big advantage over USB: an eSATA drive reads and writes data just as fast as an internal drive.
Despite its branding disaster of a name--eSATA stands for External Serial AT Attachment, and AT stands for nothing in particular--eSATA achieved some measure of success. I for one am glad it exists as a way to give laptops some measure of storage expandability of desktop machines. But overall, it never built critical mass, and I believe new technologies that match its speed and exceed its breadth will consign it to obscurity among mainstream computer users.
The nearest competitive threat is the new USB 3.0 "SuperSpeed," which offers transfer speeds of 5 gigabits per second compared to the 480 megabits per second of the currently prevailing version of the multipurpose Universal Serial Bus technology.
The new USB version is just now assuming the throne after a dangerously long reign by its predecessor. The first hard drives supporting it are on the market, and soon it will become mandatory in PCs. … Read more