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'We're not killing off floppy drives' – Intel

That's not what its documents suggest

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Intel Technology Roadmap Intel has denied it is trying to kill off the floppy disk drive, despite suggestions made in documents sent to PC makers and seen by The Register that it would like to see them phased out by the second half of next year.

"Intel's position is not to request wholesale the removal of floppy drives from PCs - or indeed any other legacy peripherals," a company spokesman told us. "What we have done is work with Microsoft on the OS, and [developed] our own chip-set solutions to enable OEMs to provide legacy-free PCs based on the OEMs' own choices."

Intel's desktop platform roadmap for the consumer market - as we saw, scribbled down and reported on last week - lists PS/2 and serial ports, and floppies in the section entitled 'Legacy Removal', part of the section headed 'Universal Mainstream Platform Technologies'. The dateline is second-half, 2002 ("2H02"). In a section headed 'Upcoming', the parallel port is listed under 'Legacy Removal'.

For corporate-oriented PCs, the floppy drive appears alongside the parallel port under upcoming legacy removal.

The Intel spokesman denied there was any schedule for legacy removal in place. "We are enabling customers to do this," he said, "but certainly not going out and saying when we think they should do this by."

However, the broad timetables offer to OEMs in the roadmap to remove such devices, albeit on a voluntary basis, suggests that the chip giant is indeed "saying when we think they should do this by".

Fortunately for Intel there's some small print at the bottom on the roadmap that effectively says that any part of the schedule can be changed at the drop of a hat, and if it seems that dropping the floppy fails to find favour, Intel can just change its mind on the matter. ®

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