According to floppy disk mogul Tom Persky, the market for one of the most iconic products in the tech industry will only last for “another four years.”
The US businessman, who describes himself as the “last man standing” in a declining business, is running flkietka.com (opens in a new tab)one of the last places on the internet to buy vintage technology.
Sony, the last company to make floppy disks, stopped producing them in March 2011, and Perksy mainly ran his business with over a millionth order placed almost a decade ago.
Who still uses floppy disks?
Apparently quite a lot of people, at least until recently.
The Boeing 747s, which were only retired in July 2020, continued to use 3.5-inch floppy disks to store updated navigation databases.
Worryingly, it was not until 2019 that the U.S. military stopped using 8-inch floppy disks in a 1970s computer, Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS), to receive orders to launch nuclear weapons.
Japan, in particular, has found it difficult to abandon its love of floppy disks, and they are still popular for use by local authorities
In one area of Tokyo, Chiyoda Ward, are not on track to completely remove floppy disks until fiscal 2026, according to a report Nikkei (opens in a new tab).
An edict by national minister of digital affairs Taro Kono has declared a “war” on floppy disks, as well as CDs, as part of a wider campaign to reduce the use of outdated technology.
But it is unlikely that floppy disks will grow in popularity again.
Even the traditionally hardcore, computer-friendly Linux community is taking steps to roll back the floppy driver (opens in a new tab)because “it’s getting harder and harder to find working physical floppy hardware.”
If you want to indulge in nostalgia for once-great technology, you can look here to read Floppy Disk Rush: The Interesting Afterlife of Flexible Media (opens in a new tab)a book in which Persky, among other experts, talks about a medium.