No more floppys?

Floppy drives look to have had their day, as Dell announces that it will cease to include them as standard on its desktop PCs as of next month

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By  Mark Sutton Published  February 9, 2003

Storage technology has come a long way in the past few years, and while the floppy drive may still prove useful for moving the occasional word document, it looks like floppys may soon be a thing of the past. As of next month, Dell will no longer install floppy drives in its PCs as standard, according to www.electricnews.net.

Floppy drives will be available as an optional extra, but it is most likely they will be replaced with a 16MB USB flash memory drive in Dell PCs, an increasingly popular alternative to floppys.

Several vendors have already started to phase out floppy drives—Dell ceased including the format on some business desktops and its Inspiron 4150 and 8200 laptops in the past two years, and HP has also replaced floppy with USB flash on some of its portables. Most vendors now expect to transition to alternatives in the next two years.

The increasing size and cost effectiveness of other forms of storage, and increased networking and use of email has made floppy disc all but obsolete. Compared to the 1.4MB of storage on a standard floppy, CDs can hold 650MB of data, high end Zip discs hold 750MB and a standard DVD can hold 4.4GB—over 3,000 times the capacity of a floppy disc. Portable memory formats such as USB flash also provide storage capacities way in advance of a floppy drive, in smaller form factors.

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