"Rumors of boxed software leaving Apple Stores and Apple's push of the Mac App Store shows the company doesn't think we need to install software via optical media anymore. There's even a rumor that Apple may be ditching optical drives in the next MacBook Pro refresh and moving to a disc-less model that allows for thinner casings and larger batteries."
Interesting article, but it makes it sound like (US) Americans are the biggest technophobes (or Luddites) on the planet. According to US FCC information, 31 percent of all users have no interest in broadband or technology (lack of need), or are scared of technology. But, conversely, of the current US population of 310 million, this means that roughly 214 million people -do- care about, and use, technology. Quite a bit of "doom and gloom," if you ask me. Apple is noted as leading the rush to leave the technically challenged behind, but many manufacturers are leaving old technology behind, and jettisoning optical drives, large numbers of ports, modems, and even wired ethernet. But, what are we getting in return? Arguably more reliable computers, that cost a fraction of what they did way back when. I'll take the extra battery life over a DVD drive, thank you! When I can get a 16GB or 32GB flash drive for a couple bucks, why would I want to go back to the stone age days of CDs and DVDs? Can we stay competitive in today's world staying with old technology? In my opinion, no, but definitely a topic for further discussion.