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First came the floppy disk, then the CD-Rom and finally there was the DVD-Rom. Each successive technology allowed a leap in storage capacity; a floppy disk can hold a little over 1Mb of data, a CD-Rom around 650Mb and a DVD-Rom up to 4.7Gb. Now comes the next step. Sony is planning to launch PC drives that use blue laser technology. Blue lasers allow disk manufacturers to pack lots more data on a disk and the new drives will use disks that can store a whopping 23.3Gb of data. Sony says the new super-disks will be aimed initially at professional markets such as graphic design, audiovideo editing and medical imaging, all of which handle huge files. Doubtless there will be prices to match. However, business technology tends to filter down into the education and consumer markets over time and that has to be good news for all of us.

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