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CES 2010: Hell Freezes Over - Sony Launches SD & MicroSD Cards

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We've a few more bits and pieces still to round up from CES 2010, but we'll mix it up with this week's news as it breaks (never stops, this stuff). So before it becomes old hat I must admit I didn't think I'd see this day until Armageddon... *looks skyward, checks for horses*

Sony has announced its own line of SD and microSD cards and in doing so all but admitted its days of making Memory Stick gobbling hardware are numbered. That said, it is something of a timid first step as its SD Cards will only come in 2GB to 32GB sizes when 64GB models are knocking around elsewhere and it has been even more cautious with microSD offering just 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities when 32GB cards are on the market.

On the plus side, both lines will come equipped with 'File Rescue' software that is bundled on certain Memory Stick lines and it is also releasing 'x-Pict Story' as a free download which enables users to make slideshows out of the card's content (though doesn't pretty much everything do this already?).

Performance? Sony was vague stating just 'Class 4' rather than specific read and write figures. This is hardly barnstorming stuff either since it translates to just 4MB per second - or 26x, when the majority of cards on the market are well beyond the top speed rating, 'Class 6' which is a mere 6MBps - or 40x. Sony does claim both ranges to be ultra-resistant to shock and able to withstand temperature extremes from -25C to 85C, but that is also pretty much par for the course.

Of course Memory Sticks won't die overnight (though I wish they would), since there is a vast array of products that will need supporting for the foreseeable future. Still, it is another brave step (push?) towards open standards from the one time King of Proprietary (a title fast being assumed by Samsung). Then again, haven't all the cool kids already moved onto SDXC...?

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