The PC World retail chain says that it will no longer stock floppy discs once existing stock has been sold.
The first floppy was developed by IBM in 1971. The floppy disk, capable of storing 1.44Mbytes of data, is now no longer adequate for most day to day computing requirements, PC World said.
Rising electronic storage requirements, the development of more convenient and robust storage systems and the dramatic expansion of electronic transfer of data via e-mail and computer networks have contributed to the demise of the 3.5in disk.
"The sound of a computer’s floppy disk drive will be as closely associated with 20th century computing as the sound of a computer dialling in to the internet," said Bryan Magrath, commercial director of PC World.
"The pace of technological change is relentless and it is now increasingly standard for computer users to transfer data via the internet or use USB memory sticks, some of which will store the equivalent of 1,000 times the capacity of a floppy disc,” he said.
In 1998, an estimated 2 billion floppy disks were sold, according to the Recording Media Industries Association of Japan. Global demand had fallen by around two thirds to an estimated 700 million units by 2006.
Today, 98% of the PCs and laptops sold by PC World no longer have in-built floppy disc drives and by the summer it is expected that the number will rise to 100%.
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