TOP personal computer hard disk vendor Quantum is looking to the popularity of the Internet, multimedia software and the potential of yet-to-be-released Microsoft Windows 95 to create a huge demand for its products. The growth in the use of the Internet's World Wide Web system, use of on-line databases and the popularity of multimedia applications on the desktop had already increased demand for personal computer storage space so much that 540-megabyte hard disks had become the standard drives on most PCs, said Francis Yu, the company's Asia-Pacific president and managing director. Use of these applications could only grow, and the impending launch of Windows 95 - which is expected to take up to 200-MB of hard disk space by itself - would see demand for storage space increasing in the next quarter so that 850-MB to one-gigabyte drives would become the standard with most PCs, he said. Last year alone an estimated 68.5 million disks were shipped by all vendors. With 27 per cent of the market share, Quantum was the top unit shipper in 3.5-inch drives for the desktop. 'Most of these disks went to the desktop, so in order to drive the market you have to drive the desktop,' Mr Yu said. 'Analysts believed it would be impossible to grab more than 25 per cent of the market share because of market needs.' These needs are ever increasing and include a burgeoning requirement for more capacity, better performance, lower prices and smaller form factors. 'Asian markets consume the majority of hard disks produced,' Mr Yu said. As a result, Quantum had increased its presence in the region and had 3,000 out of 7,500 staff based in Asia. Quantum was doing a lot of research into disk technology, 'divorcing ourselves from traditional thinking and coming up with some great ideas', Mr Yu said. Although he refused to elaborate on what some of those great ideas might be, Mr Yu said the company had a team working exclusively on them for about six months. He said the firm would have some announcements in a few weeks. Despite its focus on the desktop, Quantum would put some effort into developing 2.5-inch drive technology for the portable computer market. Unlike rival Maxtor, Quantum had not pumped large amounts of money into developing PCMCIA hard disk drives, but it was developing PCMCIA solid state devices and flash cards, Mr Yu said. In a bid to increase the performance of its drives, Quantum was looking at implementing floating motor technology in drives, he said. This technology had already been mastered by Digital's storage division, which Quantum took over last year, Mr Yu said. With floating motor technology, the central ball bearing in a hard disk drive floats in liquid, reducing friction and noice as the disk spins. 'We found it sitting in [Digital's] lab,' he said. 'They had great technology but didn't use it.' Japanese electronics firms Matsushita and Kabuki - which makes the motors used in Quantum drives - were gearing up for mass volume production of floating motors, he said. 'Our competitors are probably not sitting idle, but we will get a head start here,' Mr Yu said.