How Apple Helped Kill the Floppy Disk
Posted on April 28, 2010 by eli courey
Can Steve Jobs see the future, or do his actions shape the future?
It was 1998 and Apple had just released the iMac G3. It was a beautiful interesting computer: a sleek, all-in-one case, with something new called USB. One thing it didn’t have was a floppy disk. At the time, many believed Apple was insane for leaving a floppy disk drive off the iMac, but did Steve Jobs care? Nope. The floppy was archaic technology to him. A CD-ROM drive was where it’s at.
Well, thirteen years later — almost a decade after most people stopped using floppy disks, Sony, the inventor of the floppy disk, has officially announced that they are killing the 1.44MB storage device. As of next year, Sony will no longer manufacture the floppy disk.
Most of my Word documents are larger than 1.44MB nowadays and I can’t think of a single file I’ve created on my computer that I would need to transport to another computer, that would even fit on a floppy. Now that I think about it, I haven’t actually used my Superdrive for reading or writing any optical media since I bought my MacBook Pro two years ago either. In another ten years, will optical media have gone of the way of the floppy?
So, what have we learned? Steve was ridiculed for leaving the floppy off the iMac because he saw it as archaic. Now he gets to say “I told you so.” If Steve does have the power to gaze into the tech future, Adobe should be worried about Flash going the way of the floppy, as Steve reportedly told the Wall Street Journal, dropping Flash is no different than the decision to drop the floppy drive from the iMac. Will he be right again? Only time will tell.