Newsletter Issue #609: Say So Long to the Optical Drive

August 1st, 2011

One huge difference between Apple and other PC makers can be summarized by the word “legacy.” They rarely look back, even when it comes to honoring an anniversary, which is why you never saw a twenty-fifth anniversary Mac in 2009.

This marketing strategy became obvious first in 1998, when the original Bondi Blue iMac was introduced. The critics howled. The customers howled. Where is the floppy drive? Where are all those ports I need to hook up my accessories, such as hard drives and printers? All I see is USB and Ethernet.

For a while, there was a market for external floppy drives, along with converter plugs so that your old stuff would still mostly work the way it used to. In fast order the floppy vanished from other Macs and even the staid PC world soon followed, with most models lacking floppy drives. As old peripherals and the need for floppy drives lessened, the accessory drives and converters went away.

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