For the first time in computer history there isn't a lot of software available that would take full advantage of the latest high speed processors. Only a few years ago, the industry was forced to develop faster processors in order to meet software demands.
Something similar seems to happen in the hard drive arena as well right now. Let us leave out the professional users and focus on the mainstream market, which is the target of Maxtor's new 80 GB drive. Today it's quite a task to fill a 20 GB hard drive with applications only. Even if you install 30 programs at 200 MB each, and 10 games with 500 MB each, you will only need 11 GB of disk space.
The largest file types are of course audio, video, graphics or large data bases, consuming much more space than ordinary documents. Particularly the popular MP3 format is densely populating hard drives on every continent. Faster Internet access will automatically enable people to download more or larger files, which is another reason why the demands for storage are increasing at a steady pace.
Within the next months, more and more users will have Internet access fast enough to enable the next step in the development of the Internet. Connections will allow us to run applications directly from web servers, removing more and more limits. Who knows how long it will take until you can download a whole movie from the Internet in only 10 minutes?