Disc Drives: An Endangered Species

By Jason Fitzpatrick on December 6th, 2012

More and more computers are shipping sans-disc drive leading many industry watchers to proclaim the optical disc an endangered species on its way out. Do you still use your drive or are you letting the disc go?

CNN Tech reports on the trend:

Apple’s new iMac, its flagship desktop computer, was released Friday. For the first time, it has no disc drive. This marks a trend that has already begun on some laptops, like Apple’s MacBook Airs, and of course with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

“Over time, an optical disc will be as much of an historical curiosity as a floppy disk,” said Michael Gartenberg, a tech-industry analyst with research firm Gartner Inc.

According to Apple, where sleeker, thinner designs are always en vogue, dumping the disc drive was a no-brainer.

In addition to Apple phasing out the drive, Sony announced they’ll no longer be manufacturing optical drives and other computer manufacturers are clearly moving towards disc drive-less computers. Although it’s hard to believe such a previously ubiquitous technology is on the way out he door, a quick survey around just our office, for example, shows that only 2 of 7 computers nearby have optical drives (and one of them has a drive that was only used once, to install the operating system off a DVD). Are you in a similar situation in your home/work computing life or are optical discs still a significant part of your workflow?

Why Disc Drives Are an Endangered Species [CNN Tech]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/6/12
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