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Optical disks are steadily moving towards oblivion. Of course, no one cancels the fact that many of us store huge collections of data on DVDs – music, movies, data, backups. What happened? Why did the post-disk era begin right now?

Lots of did not predict an “imminent death” to optical drives. This is the output of a lot of netbooks (one of the hallmarks of which was the lack of a drive), and a steady reduction in the cost of flash memory and hard drives of all kinds, and an ever-increasing speed of Internet access for the average user.

Despite the lack of distribution of digital content without media, such methods are becoming more popular. Stores like iTunes, Netflix, Steam and their counterparts in other countries allow the user to receive multimedia content without having to buy, store and use disks.

What was the obstacle to the final rejection of optical disks? This obstacle was the need to install or reinstall the OS and applications. Sociological surveys have shown that a huge number of users use optical drives only to reinstall the operating system.

It is noteworthy that the giants of this industry – Microsoft and Apple in the shortest time offered the general public ways out of this situation. These are solutions for installing operating systems from USB storage devices and the Mac App Store application store. (Here users of the Linux operating system can justly be outraged because similar solutions for this system existed much earlier, but in this case, we are talking about systems that occupy much more serious positions in the market).

In addition, the practice of OS preinstallation for a hidden partition of a hard drive has become widespread, which also allows for a re-installation without an optical disk and the need for an optical drive. With the release of Windows 7, the Windows 7 USB / DVD Tool appeared, which simplified the creation of a bootable USB flash drive to install the OS. When shipping laptops without an optical drive MacBook Air operating system Mac OS X 10.6 was provided on a flash drive.

Another fact: in off-line stores Apple Store stopped selling boxed software on DVD. The disappearance of the disk from the iTunes icon reinforces the suspicion that Apple does not see a future for physical media. For the same reason, the company is in no hurry to equip its devices with Blu-ray support.

And finally, the last chord in this melody of farewell to optical disks was the release of the beta version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which is not only distributed through the Mac App Store, but also creates a spare partition on the hard drive, which allows you to install or reinstall the OS in future without an optical disc and even without a USB with an operating system.

Optical disks are still useful, and more than once, but less often the reason for this will be the need and increasingly – just nostalgia. This happened in the industry more than once – it’s enough to recall VHS cassettes, 3.5-5-inch floppy disks or even vinyl records.
In addition, more and more people use external disk drives and the laptops are released without the provided CD | DVD drive.