Although optical media will be with us for a while, MG Siegler of TechCrunch argues that after last week's unveiling of the new MacBook Airs -- which are both faster and more affordable than the previous generation -- Apple has effectively sealed the fate of the optical disc in the computer industry. Soon, he believes, CDs and DVDs will go the way of the floppy disk.
An insane argument? Maybe... but when I think about it, I have used the DVD-drive of my laptop maybe a handful of times at most in the last year. Read Sigeler's opinions here.
When you get your MacBook Air and you open the box, you will find exactly zero optical discs inside. Normally, Apple includes at least one back-up DVD to reinstall OS X and other software if your computer fails. But now, that has been replaced with a super-slim USB stick. This stick, packed in with your manual, is all you need to reinstall your system now.
This makes a lot of sense. CDs were replaced by DVDs because they offered a lot more storage. But flash memory cards, such as the one Apple includes with the Air, are already blowing DVDs out of the water when it comes to storage. They may still be more expensive to produce, but Apple has clearly figured out a way to make it work. I suspect we may see more drives like this one (which use much less plastic than typical USB flash drives ? and appear to even use less plastic than optical discs).
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