Today, most computers and laptops have a disc drive of some sort. You might even have a Blu-Ray player on your PC. At the very least, you likely have a CD/DVD drive. This drive can be used to install programs, read data from a disc, and play movies, music, or games over your computer.
However, PCs with optical disc drives could soon be a thing of the past. A few years ago, basically every new PC and laptop was sold with a disc drive. Today, that is no longer the case. New technologies like Ultrabooks focus on giving users a sleek and slim design, and there is no room to put an optical drive.
For that reason, many of today’s slim laptops do not feature an optical disc drive of any sort, and users rely on the internet and cloud storage in order to access the data they need.
The rise of slim laptops, paired with the popularity of digital distribution, has made optical drives increasingly obsolete. Instead of installing programs from CDs and DVDs, today’s software and video games can be simply downloaded from the internet. In fact, when you buy a new video game these days, you might open the case to just find a CD-key as opposed to a DVD.
Cloud computing is also on the rise, which means users no longer have to install programs on each individual computer. Instead, they can depend on the cloud for whatever software they need to access. Why would somebody take the time to open their DVD drive and insert a DVD when they can access the same data with just a couple of clicks from their office chair?
Today, the optical drive industry took another hit as one of the world’s largest companies decided to pull out: Sony announced that it will completely stop its production of optical disc drives for PCs in November, and that its ODD division would be liquidated next March (for those who are curious, Sony did say that its ODD employees have been offered generous retirement packages and transfer positions)
If you have a new Ultrabook or netbook, then you probably don’t have a CD or DVD player. And, to give testament to the power of today’s technology, you might not have even noticed that your PC was lacking a certain important component. Even desktop PC users might wonder about the last time they used their optical drive.
Whether you’re a PC gamer downloading video games through digital distribution services like Steam, or you’ve just become used to buying and downloading your software online, optical disc drives might soon go the way of the floppy drive.