Hugh Pickens writes writes "The WSJ reports that Western Digital will buy Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for about $4.3 billion in cash and stock, leaving only four key hard disk drive vendors — Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba and Samsung. The hard drive world has been seen as ripe for consolidation, particularly as the rise of tablet computers such as the Apple iPad — which don't use hard drives for data storage — is casting doubt on the future of hard disks. Compared to hard drives, solid-state drives promise greater power efficiency, performance, resistance to physical shock, and run more quietly since they contain no moving parts. But one area that solid-state drives do not improve on their spinning predecessors is in their inevitable movement towards failure. 'SSDs are going to fail just like hard drives will,' says Chris Bross, Senior Enterprise Recovery engineer at Drivesavers Data Recovery. 'Every storage device will have issues regardless of their underlying technology.'"