Although Microsoft already supports the use of solid state drives in Windows Vista and XP, Windows 7 will be their first operating system actually optimized and designed with SSD performance in mind. Will its forthcoming release boost adoption of such drives, however? According to Digitimes, their cost is simply too prohibitive to make that a reality, with most drives still on the order of ten times more costly per gigabyte than traditional disks. As a result of that, sources at notebook vendors estimate that by the end of the year, SSDs will compose a mere 1% of the market.

While Windows 7 may not serve much to further their adoption on the basis of cost alone, it might be a tad shortsighted to gauge the state of SSDs based on market share alone. Manufacturing costs and storage densities are improving very rapidly. If you recall, some of the first available drives were selling for over $50 per gigabyte a few years back. Putting things into perspective with today’s prices, that means a drop rate significantly faster than mechanical disks are currently achieving.

One must also consider Windows 7 sales even farther down the road, where PC retailers might have the choice between a 1TB HDD or a 512GB SSD – the price premium might be easily overlooked a year from now.