Did Apple just give the optical disc its last kick in the pants?

Calm down. Before anyone goes off into a tirade about how optical storage isn't dead and all that jazz — remember that there can be no fancy future where everything is instant-on and all Jetson-like if we don't let go of old technology. Apple's decision to not include a reinstall disc with the new MacBook Airs may be the final push to really kill off CDs and DVDs.

Usually, Apple includes a DVD inside the box of all of its computers for reinstalling the operating system. The new MacBook Airs have a little flash drive instead. Even the old optical disc-less MacBook Airs included the OS on a DVD. Well, it's no more because optical storage might as well keel over and die.

Apple heralded in USB when it killed the floppy disk with the original iMac and now it's doing the same for the optical disc. USB turned out more versatile and it's not prone to scratches. Apple's refusal to include Blu-ray, even in its highest Mac Pro line should provide even more evidence.

The optical disc's dwindling presence has been a long time in the making. iPods and MP3 players have been slowing down physical CD sales for years. DVDs are being replaced with streaming video. Hell, lots of PC users have been reinstalling Windows on their computers from a USB drive for years. You won't even miss the old dinosaur.

With the inclusion of the Mac App Store, it's clear that Apple is going the route of digital distribution and won't look back. And I'd say it's about time that optical storage goes the way of the dodo, too. I'll take faster read and write speeds over slower ones any day.

Via Techcrunch

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