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CD-RW is the new floppy

next "universal data interchange", HP forecasts

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CD-RW has the potential to become the next universal data-interchange medium for computers, a position the 1.44MB 3.5-inch floppy disk has held since the late 1980, Hewlett-Packard says. The first CD technology to be used with computers was CD-ROM, a read-only technology. In the early 1990s, CD-Recordable (CD-R) drives became available and data could be stored permanently on a disk and be accessed by any CD-ROM drive. With the introduction of CD-RW, which has more than 400 times the capacity of a floppy, and can be over written up to 1,000 times, users can now store and erase data on CDs for playback on MultiRead-compatible CD-ROM drives, CD-R drives and CD-RW drives. As CD media is becoming more pervasive, users can create and share information with more than 200 million CD-ROM users and 600 million CD audio users worldwide. According to HP, storage market analysts regard CD technology as a ubiquitous tool for today's computing applications. Demand for CD products is growing at an impressive rate and IDC projects that about 84 million CD-ROM drives will be sold in 1998. This is up from about 72.6 million in 1997, of which 2.5 million were CD-RW and CD-R drives. A spokesperson for Hewlett-Packard said that the value of the disks would become more apparent as applications demanded more and more storage space, but said that the price difference would prohibit direct competition for a while. Those who do not need the kind of capacity offered by CDs would probably stick with traditional floppies.®

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