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Description: Don’t expect a DVD slot in your next Mac laptop, or your next desktop computer for that matter.  Apple hopes to replace those discs with a fluffy white iCloud, where software, music, video and your own personal content fly around in the air like happy seagulls at the beach.


Date: Nov 2, 2010

Remember the floppy disk? I’m willing to bet Steve Jobs does. I’m also willing to bet he remembers when he killed it.  It was 1998, to be precise, and the murder weapon was the new iMac, a computer that was missing the then-standard internal floppy drive.  Last month Mr. Jobs rang the final death knell for another piece of technology: optical discs like DVDs and CDs.  For this execution, his weapon of choice is the new MacBook Air, with a little extra help from the iTunes store, of course.   During the unveiling of the new MacBook Air line, Mr. Jobs said these computers were next-generation laptops. This was reiterated in the commercials for the computers, in which a voiceover calls them “the next generation of Macbooks.” Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • IS the CD/DVD drive on computers on the way out and becoming extinct?
  • What  are the strengths and opportunities of  CD/DVD drives on computers?
  • What  are the weaknesses  and threatsof  CD/DVD drives on computers?

20 Responses to “Apple Looks to a New Computing Era”

  1. Meghan

    I think that this is another brilliant idea by Apple. THey are constantly coming up with a better way for technology and I think that many people will respond to this. By having an icloud in your comptuer will make it easier for th user and everyhting will be on it. You won’t haev to worry about the cd’s and having to store everything on them. Seems very smart and I would be willing to look into a mac computer for my next computer.

  2. Nathan Cornell

    The CD/DVD drive is on the way out. With apple and google coming out with new products that will make them extinct. Since it seems that everything apple releases is a huge success, i.e Ipad, Iphone, it seems foolish to doubt that they will not have that same success again. The strengths of having these drives on your computer is that they are user friendly. Everyone knows how to use these devices and already owns CD’s and DVD’s to run on them, so it is not an inconvenience to the user. The weaknesses are that it is something else that can go wrong with your computer and running these devices slows the computer down. Problems that should not occur with the Icloud

  3. Jvo

    I think that CD/DVD’s are past their prime and are on the verge of being extinct. Digital distribution is getting better and better every day (we see this with streaming movie providers). As more organizations focus on digital distribution the need to manufacture physical copies would go down, this in turn would decrease costs and improve the bottom line. However the main problem with going completely digital is that once data has been put into cyberspace you don’t really know who has access to all your information and what they are doing with it. By putting data onto a disc you can share information without connecting to the internet. I really like the idea of getting rid of CD/DVD’s because it reduces the amount of resources needed (all the resources for packaging and manufacturing) to distribute physical copies. I don’t think disc format (currently Blu-ray) is going to be extinct but CD/DVD’s are on the way out.

  4. Tracy

    I’m not sure I’m ready to completely embrace the cloud concept and trash all my CDs and DVDs – and I don’t think I’m the only one. Though the internet is a great and amazing thing, are people forgetting it can fail? Or that there are still many places where internet is unavailable and I may want to watch a DVD? Furthermore, what do I do with all the CDs and DVDs I have currently? Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of being able to transfer items between my numerous computers / share with friends without wires but it’s not time to kill the CD-drive yet. I think the best option is what many new netbooks are doing now – have the CD drive as an external device connected by USB. That way my computer is lighter & smaller and has one less moving part to break down but if I’m headed out to grandma’s farm in the middle of nowhere, I can still take my CD drive along to watch some DVDs when I get bored. I feel like Apple is taking a very gutsy move – and this one may not pay off.

  5. Michelle Zeng

    Get rid of the CD/DVD drive is a brilliant move. I don’t know how many people are still using those drives, but i only use them when i install softwares. CD/DVD drives are clumsy, battery draining, small capacity comparing to usb flash drives. Plus, external hard drives become more compact and they are cheaper and faster than DVDs for data backup. Recently, USB3.0 superspeed becomes available for consumers. It has amazing 5G/s transmission rate, which allows transferring a whole DVD disk data in a blink of the eye. DVd drives certainly lost the battle with its substitions.
    I am not sure if the general public are ready for cloud. Every IT giants have invested heavily on cloud and that made me believe cloud is the future. However, i personally still don’t trust putting my information on cyberspace where i have no idea who controls it. Plus, with not very reliable internet service from Shaw, i don’t know what i should do when i lose my internet connection.

  6. Alejandra

    I do think that the CD/DVD drive is on the way out much like the floppy disks years ago. I personally remember using them and then when the CD/ DVD came out I thought the quality was better because they didn’t wreck as easily. Imagining this Icloud would bring back the memories of the floppy disks. Knowing that information such as personal photos, music etc can be linked without cables would be great. Not having to carry a DVD or a CD around would be an advantage. DVD/CD would most likely become a backup method of storing information if your computer one day were to crash when using the Icloud. I think as the years go by every electronic device is already becoming extinct the first day that it is launched because someone out there will know how to make it better. Take for instance the exchange from VHS to DVD, Tapes to CD’s, walkmans to CD players to mp3’s the examples are endless.

  7. Teresa

    I find it hard to believe that CD/DVD drives are on their way to becoming extinct. But that’s what Apple does best. They are constantly ahead of the game by producing innovative devices that take place of existing functioning ones; For example, the IPod and the Discman. It definitely makes me wonder what people are going to do when they want a physical place to store valuable information or a backup. Does that mean I am not going have a use for all my CDs and DVDs? Scary, considering I (and probably other individuals I hope) rely on these for entertainment (in places internet is not available) and storage devices. What if the iCloud fails? Does that mean all your music, videos, and pictures disappear? I am eager for what technology has in store for society but this can be very risky.

  8. Chelsey Kitaguchi

    I believe that CD/DVD drives are slowly on their way to becoming extinct due to USB drives, not due to Apple’s new “cloud” invention. People used CD/DVD drives to store information they considered valuable and needed to be accessible at all times. USB drives have now replaced this to control the same function. The “cloud” would also be able to perform these same functions and more. It can be accessed at any time and at any location to increase it’s convenience. However, there are many risks with this “cloud”. Since it is provided online, there is a risk of hackers reading and stealing these files. As well, glitches online could cause errors in the system. I believe people would be too cautious to put all their work and personal files into the “cloud”. Instead, I see the CD/DVD extinction beginning with USB drives coming in full force and becoming the dominant storage device. Although people will have to remember to carry it all the time, it is more secure and that person will always know who’s seen the information or not!

  9. Beth

    CDs and DVDs are, although relatively new from one perspective, are becoming increasingly obsolete. People are not going to carry around a bulky collection of CDs when they can access many more songs than the CDs can hold on an ipod. With recent technology that is making downloading movies much more popular instead of going out to rent them, DVDs will also become a thing of the past. I understand Apple’s logic in eliminating the CD/DVD compartment of a laptop, however this move might be premature. We are still very much in a time where CDs are common place- I use a CD for certain textbooks at school which I have to buy and use. If I were interested in purchasing one of these laptops, but wouldnt have anywhere to access my important schoolwork on CDs, I would probably not purchase it; it just wouldnt make sense to forego something that I need for the sake if a “new computing era”.

  10. Fiona Jin

    It is possible that CD/DVD drive on computers on the way out and becoming extinct. With the developing of new technology, such as USB is becoming more prevalent, the demand for CD/DVD drive is not as high as few years ago. Even though CD/DVD drive is not main stream in the market nowadays, it still has its own strengths and opportunities. The low cost is the main advantage. Compare to USB and other high technology, CD/DVD is much expensive, because of this reason, it drives people still will need CD/DVD drives. Other than the low cost of CD/DVD, some textbooks contains a CD/DVD study material. I remember that I took a music class this summer; I had to use a CD to do my assignments. The weaknesses are obviously. It is not continent to carry, and when it is hard to take care.

  11. Matthew Kritzer

    Like all technologies, they move along their useful life until they are not used or replaced by a superior technology. Physical Disk Storage media I believe is on its way out becoming more and more replaced by cloud computing and more portable small form factors like Thumb Drivers. These technologies can provide people with more storage and without the need to carry around Disks.

    The main current strength of CD/DVD drives is they are universal on almost all computers, giving manufacturers of software an easy way to provide it to the customers (via CD/DVDs). Another strength of CD/DVDs is they are a physical media which may be a benefit over cloud computing. If the cloud goes offline, you are unable to access your data, but with a physical media they are all there.

    CD and DVDs are on the tail end of their lifespan, the main reason for this is because of new developed technologies that can hold a lot more data (such as 512gb thumb drivers) with a smaller foot print. This enables people to hold more data on them in a much more efficient way, and with more durability than a flimsy disk.

  12. Alisha Bailes

    I think people are definitely putting some thought into extinction of the CD/DVD drive, although I have a mini HP laptop and it doesn’t have the CD/DVD drive and it has driven me crazy on more than a few occasions. I’m sure that if the CD/DVD drive goes extinct than textbook publishers will come up with a version of the disks on line, I can’t do any of my homework for a particular class on my laptop because I can’t use the disk. Somewhat annoying when you want to do your homework between classes. That is obviously a weakness to the CD/DVD drive-less laptop as well what about people who use their laptop to watch videos when they are flying or driving… do we have to re-buy the “cloud version” of the movies? The only strength I can think of as of what I know right now is the weight comparison that’s why I bought the mini.
    * What are the strengths and opportunities of CD/DVD drives on computers?
    * What are the weaknesses and threatsof CD/DVD drives on computers?

  13. Kayley F

    The days of CD and DVD drives are coming to an end. There has been a natural progression from 20 years ago when the first personalized computers were launched in accordance to the external memory used. Users are wanting more storage and increased speed, with more convenience. This is noticeable with newer devices such as jump drives from the previous CD/DVD-ROM, where their size and use storage capacity makes them great travel companions. The downside, of all small things, is that they are easily lost, which can be extremely stressful if there is sensitive or personal data stored on the device. With the iCloud, and cloud-like technologies developed by Google, no excess bulk is needed for us to carry our data with us. As long as there is an internet connection, then external drives are thus obsolete.

  14. Kaleigh

    CD/DVD drives are slowly on their way to becoming obsolete. The only time I use the CD/DVD drive in my laptop is when I install a new program from a CD that I purchased in store. The last time I purchased software in the form of a CD was two and a half years ago. I purchased Photoshop and installed the software on my Macbook. Installing program from a CD seems to be a thing of the past, as the Internet has made it easy to download programs and file. Some textbooks have a CD included with additional information. It seems to be a trend that textbook companies such as Mc Graw Hill, are now giving students who purchase their textbook an access code to register online and access addition information online, without the use of a CD. Overall, I like the idea of ditching the CD drives.

  15. Cory

    CD’s and DVD’s will have come and went just like the rest of the formats, however physical formats may not leave quite yet. Whether it be backups or proof of ownership a physical copy of data is still fairly important. Blue ray just came out not that long ago despite the general trend of online data transferring. As the article states, Apple intends to make this a slow process. It could be 5 years or 20 before physical forms of the data are no longer needed. Several problems were created when data transfer became easily available on the web. stealing music and movies was not only easy, but in some cases it was even more convenient and available than going to rent or buy. For that reason of availability and speed of access, the use of a physical format for trading information will most likely become obsolete eventually.

  16. Brett S

    Well Im a little embarrassed to say that i still have a tonne of Vidio tapes and that im only begining to expand my DVD collection, now i have to forget them both and move on? Owell. I understand that new technology is a progressive thing and that better and faster equipment continue to make improvements in our lives but are DVD’s and CD’s really outdated already?
    I think that this is a clear maketing manouver to force people to upgrade their existing technology to the “new and improved”. Apple has been doing this for years! They create an item “to good to live without”, and they monopolize it and make millions off it… things such as the Ipod is a clear example, and if you wanted to have things that were fully compatible with and Ipod then you had to get a mac computer to.

  17. Katie Sparling

    I think that CD’s and DVD’s will not go extink for a while yet, however they will soon, if not are, on the endangered list. But this is the natural lifecycle of technology and we must not dwell on the past, just move forward with the rest of the world. I say this because most people who have a computer now, their computer is compatible with a CD or DVD and it is still a common way to store, view, and download information. Obviously there are better, more effective ways to store information – such as songs, like the flash drive. However, how many people do you know who have a vehicle that is compatible with a flashdrive? But a CD? I believe I have made my point here when I say that CD’s are not extinct yet and still have many years of thriving in this technologically advanced environment.

  18. Dave S

    I think that the extinction of DVDs and CDs may be a reality, but not anytime soon. People all around the world are still using these disks for many different functions. I know of many working professionals that still use and rely on these devices in their everyday work processes. Also, there are a lot of individuals that use these devices for storage as a form of file protection. I do not believe that the online purchase of music and video files has become a habit of the majority of the public. This is a relatively new technology and I think it will be a while until this form of purchasing is common with all demographics of computer users. This includes the individuals that use these older technologies in their everyday work process.

  19. Nathan Benoit

    The weaknesses of the CDs/DVDs is that they can become damaged, I have own numerous CDs and DVDs that I have had to throw out because when they get too scratched they stop working. Another weakness is accessabliity, that they can be forgotten, lost, or left behind. You dont have them with you at all times. Where as with this new technology you carry your music or movies around with you. A lot of us see them as wastes of space and discontinued buying them. I have stopped buying CDs because its easier for me to just download them of iTunes or have some digital copy. I like the new technology because i forget most of my music/movies at home and it would be nice to access them on my iPhone or iPad wherever i am. Good invention 🙂

  20. Ling H

    It is not surprising that CD/DVDs are on it’s way to extinction. The weaknesses of CD/DVD is that they are hard to carry around, they are easy to get scratches, and they breakable. The strengths and opportunities of CD/DVDs is physical storage. Icloud may be easy to access anywhere and anytime, but I wouldn’t completely trust Icloud with important data and personal information where they may dispear in the cloud. USB flash drive would be a better substitiute for data back up for my personal data over CD/DVD.

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