Dell is driving away from floppies

Dell Computer Corp. drove the floppy disk one step closer to extinction yesterday with the announcement that users who buy high-end 8250 Dimension PCs will have the option of including a $20 16M Universal Serial Bus hard drive or a $40 floppy drive.

Customers can also choose to buy a 64M keychain hard drive for $49 or leave the port empty rather than have a floppy drive, which has been standard on Dell PCs for longer than a decade.

Although the key chains are less expensive to make than the floppy drives, Dell Dimension marketing manager Shannon Baxley said, the move was not a cost-saving measure but was driven by demand from consumers who routinely swap files larger than the 1.44M capacity of floppy disks can hold.

Although these changes are new to the Dimension line, Dell offered customers the option to swap out the floppy drive from certain types of OptiPlex, its workgroup business model desktop PC, and the high-end Inspiron notebook line, last year.

Baxley said that as people grow more comfortable with USB peripherals, demand for USB drives will increase.

(Click here for GCN information on USB drive capabilities and performances)

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