Zip drives replace floppies

Zip storage drives will become a standard feature in new IBM Aptiva PCs to be released exclusively in Japan.

Jim Hu Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jim Hu
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Jim Hu
Iomega Japan said Zip storage drives will become a standard feature in new IBM Aptiva PCs for the Japanese market, adding to a growing trend away from archaic floppy drives.

As competitors profilerate in the removable storage market, the days of the 1.44MB floppy drive appear to be limited. Products from Iomega, SyQuest, Nomai, Castlewood Systems, and others far surpass the capacity of floppies and offer the same ease of use, albeit at a slightly greater price.

Floppy disks have been a fixture in personal computers since their introduction, but have not significantly advanced technologically.

Today's announcement is another step toward Iomega's hope to have its 100MB drives eventually replace archaic 1.44MB floppy disk drives in PCs. Iomega's Zip drives will come built into the Aptiva in place of a standard floppy disk drive.

Micron has already replaced floppy drives with Zips in some of its desktop models.

According to Iomega spokesman Tyler Thacher, 32 percent of Iomega's shipments are to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). "If you look at today's computer and a computer ten years ago, there's not much similarity but the disk drive," said Tyler, implying that floppy disks are behind the times.

Along with the 100MB Zip drives, the high-end Aptiva L87 features a 333-MHz Pentium II processor, an 8GB hard disk drive, 32MB of RAM, a 56-kbps modem, and a 17-inch monitor for around $3,400.