Sony stopped producing them in 2011, but a large inventory of floppy disks is still maintained around the world.
Floppy disks or diskettes were one of the most popular forms of storage in the 1980s and 1990s, losing popularity with the new millennium.
Although they were discontinued in 2011 when Sony “decreed their death”, floppy disks are still alive.
One of their fans is Bill Gates , who remembered them by mentioning a Wired article about their prevalence.
I couldn’t help but think about the good old days while reading this. The floppy disk will always have a special place in my heart, and it’s fun to see it still being used in a few special cases. https://t.co/Trbgh2vKtn
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) March 17, 2023
“I can’t stop thinking about the good old days reading this. The floppy disk has always had a special place in my heart, and it’s fun to see it still used in some special cases,” the philanthropist and Microsoft founder tweeted .
Why are floppy disks still used?
Diskettes or floppy drives in English are still the data transfer method for many machines, even those made in the 2000s.
Wired gives the example of some Boeing 747, Boeing 767, Airbus A320s, among others. The floppy disks are used to update your software.
Industrial machines also have the floppy disk as their main method of data transfer. Many of them still have at least a couple of decades more estimated usage time, so it’s hard for the floppy to really say goodbye.
Other companies offer adapters that can convert the floppy interface to USB, but these are dependent on the device to which they will be installed.
The Diskette Merchant
Tom Persky of Floppydisk.com is a specialist in selling floppy disks. He says that 20 or 25 years ago he could get them for $0.07 a unit, but now he sells them for $1 each.
A big part of Persky’s job is finding batches of diskettes for resale.
“There is a global inventory of diskettes that were manufactured 10, 20, or 30 years ago. It is fixed and we are running out of it day by day. I have no idea how big it is. It’s probably giant, but it’s spread out. There is no one with half a million floppy disks, but there are half a million people with a 10-pack,” he explained.
Persky doesn’t think it will run out of diskettes to sell. He is 73 years old and only plans to work five more years and doesn’t think anyone is “dumb enough” to buy his company.