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Sony to stop selling floppy disks from 2011

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The first floppy disk was introduced in 1971 by IBM.

Sony has signalled what could be the final end of the venerable floppy disk.

The electronics giant has said it will stop selling the 30-year-old storage media in Japan from March 2011.

Earlier this year Sony stopped selling the disks in most international markets due to dwindling demand and competition from other storage formats.

The slow death of the "floppy" or "diskette" began in 1998 when Apple decided to not include a floppy drive in its G3 iMac computer.

Since then various other firms have stopped support for floppy disks, including computer giant Dell in 2003.

Computing store PC World stopped selling them in 2007.

However, Sony has continued to sell the disks, and continues to ship them in the millions.

Now, the firm - which claims to have produced the first 3.5in (9cm) disks in 1981 - has decided to halt sales completely faced with competition from online storage and portable USB drives.

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