USB Flash Drives Finally Nail The Floppy Disk

Given they were first developed in 1971 it is perhaps more of a surprise that floppy disks have lasted as long as they have. What’s even more surprising is that Sony, who are the last major manufacturer still producing them, managed to sell over 12 million of them last year. Clearly there are still some die-hard supporters of this technology around but the bad news for them is that from next year Sony will stop its production leaving just a handful of 2nd tier manufacturers to fill the void.

Given the relatively tiny amount of data you can save onto a floppy disk (around 2MB) and their awkward shape they have simply been out gunned over recent years by CD’s DVD’s and of course USB Flash Drives. Consider that a fairly middling 4GB flash drive can store 2,000 times more data than the largest floppy disk and you get a feel for why this technology is now effectively obsolete.

Floppy Disk Vs USB Flash Drive

At their peak in the 1990’s it’s estimated that around 5 billion floppy disks were in use. Today you won’t find any new PC’s shipping with an integral floppy disk drive and most software applications have long outgrown the storage capacity on offer from a floppy disk.

Of course some people still use them to store and back-up their personal data and files but considering that we now store and save digital photographs, music tracks and videos (all of which have files that are too big to be stored on a floppy disk) their use is likely to be limited to small document files and back-ups routines developed years ago.

Unlike USB flash drives one area that floppy disks never really entered is the promotional gift or corporate give-away market. Floppy disks might have been used to hand out corporate and sales information on but printing company logo’s onto them and handing them out to promote a companies products or services was never really done. In contrast today tens of millions of USB flash drives are given away every year by companies looking to promote their brand and/or products.

Because USB Flash drives are available in a wide range of different styles, colours, materials and formats they have been used by many school, universities and companies (large and small). They look excellent when printed with a logo; they can be fully customised and supplied with complimentary lanyards and/or key rings.

USB Flash Drives are portable, lightweight, attractive, easy to use and work with anything that has a USB port on it. Their ubiquity and popularity make them an ideal choice for anyone looking to save and carry their data with them. USB flash drives are floppy disk killers and branded USB flash drives have rapidly risen to become a key product within the Sales and Promotional Marketing industry.

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