April 27, 2010

Sony To End Floppy Disk Production in 2011

In what could be the final nail in the coffin for the floppy disk, Sony has announced that it will cease production and sales of the decades-old storage medium in March 2011.

In most parts of the world, where it had long been replaced by the likes of the CD-ROM and the USB drive, disk sales had already been halted. However, in Japan, Sony reported sales of 12 million floppies last year at a cost of about $6 per 10-pack. That will come to an end next year, however, on the 30th anniversary of the company's production of the 3.5-inch storage device.

The most advanced floppy disk, the HD version, could hold a maximum of 1.44MB of data. In contrast, a CD can hold 650MB worth of files, while DVD-ROMs can hold between 4.7GB and 17.08GB of data and a dual layered Blu-Ray disc can hold up to 100GB worth of data.

On Monday, tech blogs were abuzz discussing the loss of the iconic storage medium.

"Fully 12 years after the original G3 iMac dropped support for the 3.5-inch floppy disk, Sony has finally decided to stop making them. The reason is a lack of demand. The surprise is that it took so long," wrote Charlie Sorrel of Wired.com. "RIP, my floppy friend."

"Personally, I don't know anyone who still uses 3.5-inch floppies, but I bet if I asked you or anyone else, you'd admit to still having a box or two stashed somewhere," added Lance Ulanoff of PCMag.com. "Most are probably filled with data that you always promised yourself you'd migrate to another medium. You probably did the same thing with the old truly 'floppy' 5.25-inch disks."

"That data is trapped on its obsolete format as well"¦Perhaps that's the real story today: Another once-popular format plays Dodo and we start worrying about what happens when there are no more drives available to read the medium," added Ulanoff.


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