One thing I think that has been missed in conversations over this announcement is this:
These days, 95% of the bulk of the drive is exactly the same for the SATA and PATA versions of the same drive: metal casing, motors, platters, heads, plastics, arms/actuators, etc. The only physical difference is the on-disk controller board, that flat piece that screws onto the bottom and provides the PATA or SATA connectors. The drives are interface agnostic until that is screwed onto it and the firmware is written to the private portion of the platters.
It would be nice if they had generalized it further and split the controller in two: the inner half being the physical/electrical/magnetic drive controller with the outer half being the logical controller (physical interface and command center). That way, one could actually purchase bi-interface drives with the ability to swap PATA to SATA by sliding a card on and off the back of the drive. Since PATA doesn’t have a strict physical positioning standard for the ports while SATA does, they’d have to ensure to conform to that that after inserting the SATA daughter board , of course.
That would add cost, of course, but it would make things easier when dealing with a heterogeneous interface environment.