Dell to oust floppy drives

While floppy disk drives have been the staple storage mechanism for the PC since its inception, computer manufacturer Dell Computer Corp. has decided the floppy will have no place in its future product lines.

According to Dell, the company plans to stop installing the drives as standard on its Dimension offerings as early as next month, unless otherwise specified by customers. The company has already ceased making the floppy disk drives standard on all notebook computers

Typical floppy disks are capable of holding up to 1.44MB of data, but Dell believes more portable technology including universal serial bus (USB) hard drives, re-writable CDs and ZIP drives are more appealing to users.

USB drives plug into an external port on a computer and are typically used for back-up. Dell’s 16MB USB hard drives will be available as a standard on its Dimension high-end PC first, although the company said it will wait for customer response before making the feature available on all models.

Apple Computer Corp. led the ousting of the floppy more than five years ago, although Dell has since been the first to officially follow suit. Other PC vendors including Hewlett-Packard Co. continue to offer the drives on desktop offerings.

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