If you ask me, Apple isn’t being as aggressive as they formerly would have been. That is, regarding the killing of an old legacy technology in favor of a new one. Apple, in 1998, to much controversy, angst, and lack of a better word, bitching, cut the floppy disk drive from it’s new iMac line. […]
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My Thoughts on Software Distribution Going Forward

appstore_icon20101020.jpgIf you ask me, Apple isn’t being as aggressive as they formerly would have been. That is, regarding the killing of an old legacy technology in favor of a new one. Apple, in 1998, to much controversy, angst, and lack of a better word, bitching, cut the floppy disk drive from it’s new iMac line. Users now had to either work with USB drives, or CD-ROM.

Well, here we are in 2011, and we’re still getting at least a good portion of our PC software from physical media. And in some instances, it still makes sense- Such as the Adobe Creative Suite. I don’t care how fast your internet connection is, it’s still going to take awhile to download all of that. That begs the question- why not ship it on USB flash drives? They’re cheap enough these days. In fact, that’s what I expect companies to do as we move forward. If it’s too big to be downloaded, they’ll ship it on a flash drive. Apple does it already with their restore software that comes with the MacBook Air.

That brings us back to Apple. They’ve been slow moving on this. In ’98 they dropped the axe on the floppy all at once. Now, Apple seems to be slowly weening us off of it. First, they introduced the MacBook Air in 2008, and justified it by offering more video content on iTunes (for those that wanted a disc drive to watch movies) and offering wireless backups through Time Capsule, and offering wireless software installs from another computer equipped with a disc drive. Jump forward a few years and we have the Mac App Store, which was inspired by the iOS App Store. In other words, Apple is already shipping a computer with no disc drive, and is pushing customers toward a disc-less software installation through the Mac App Store. It’s even rumored that the next version of Mac OS X will primarily be distributed through the Mac App Store.

This leads to the question of when Apple will pull the plug on the disc drive all together. I bet it’s not a year before we see new Mac emerge from the bowls of Cupertino lacking a disc drive. And to be honest, who will miss it? Hard drive storage is cheap and ample, and bandwidth can normally handle the strain. It’s time to make the move Apple.

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