It could soon be time to bid a final farewell to floppy disks

The market for one of the most iconic items in the technology industry is only set to hold up for “another four years” according to floppy disc tycoon, Tom Persky. 

The US businessman, the self-described “last man standing” in the fading business, runs floppydisk.com, one of the last places on the internet you can purchase the vintage technology.

Sony, the last company to produce floppy discs, stopped manufacturing them in March 2011, and Perksy has been mainly running his business from a one million plus order made almost a decade ago.

Who still uses floppy disks?

Quite a lot of people apparently, at least up until very recently.

Boeing 747s, which were only retired in July 2020, continued to use 3.5-inch floppy discs to store updated navigational databases.

Unsettlingly, it wasn’t until 2019 that the US military stopped using 8-inch floppy disks in a 1970s computer, the Strategic Automated Command and Control System, or SACCS, to receive nuclear launch orders.

Japan in particular has found it hard to let go of its love of floppy discs, and they are still popular for usage by local government 

In one area of Tokyo, Chiyoda Ward, they aren’t on track to completely remove floppy discs until their fiscal year 2026 according to reporting by Nikkei.

An edict from the country’s digital minister, Taro Kono,  declared “war” on floppy disks, as well as CD roms, as part of a wider campaign to cut down on the use  of outdated tech.

But it’s unlikely we’ll see floppy discs shoot up in popularity ever again.

Even the traditionally hardcore computing-friendly Linux community is taking steps to phase out its floppy disc driver, as “actual working physical floppy hardware is getting hard to find”.

If you’d like to indulge your nostalgia for the once great technology, you can head here to read Floppy Disk Fever: The Curious Afterlives of a Flexible Medium, a book where Persky among other experts, talk about the medium. 

Tired of putting up with vintage technology? Check out our guide to the best cloud storageVia The Register

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