If you’ve been using PC’s for a while, then you expect each system to come with a certain checklist of hardware in order for the computer to be considered complete. You would need a monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse, possibly with a printer. You would also need all this attached either through cords or wirelessly with your actual desktop console, which you would expect to have things like a processor, RAM, hard drive, modem/LAN card, audio chipset, and video processor inside. On the outside, you’d have connectivity ports, USB ports, a power plug, and a compact disc drive.
Most everything listed there is a necessary part of a modern computer system, but not all components, as CD-ROM drives also known as (ODD) which stands for “optical disk drive” are quickly becoming obsolete. In fact, it can be downright hard to find PC’s that have them in their pure form. A huge reason behind that is the fact that many desktop models now feature DVD instead of CD components. It is true that most, if not all, DVD (ODD) can serve as CD (ODD), but the backward compatibility of them does not make them actual CD (ODD), considering that a CD drive can’t possibly play a DVD disk.
Compact disc (ODD) are even further obsolete by the fact that while DVD is becoming standard hardware for budget computers, high-end models are actually now coming out with Blu-Ray included. Also, some computers no longer even have optical devices of any kind whatsoever, given how infrequently they are now used. Laptops, especially netbooks and lightweight models trying to conserve space, have really pushed the envelope on this.
It used to be that almost all software was purchased in retail stores off the shelf and then loaded onto a computer via the disk it came on. However, that was primarily in the age of dial-up modem use. The explosion of high-speed Internet has made it much easier for distributors to offer their software, including entire operating systems, available via online download. In other cases, large files now come on USB drives, also known as thumb, jump or flash drive.
Streaming media, ranging from music to movies and TV shows, has rendered discs obsolete, not just in terms of CDs but DVDs as well. The race to the bottom for pricing in the cutthroat world of cheap computers has lead many manufacturers to not even include optical devices on their own accord in order to save money.
It is possible to add it to most system that needs it, so any consumer wanting this can do so. If their desktop console has an available optical slot and the right motherboard and power supply connectors available, it’s a relatively easy upgrade. Likewise, USB external components are also possible to buy and add to pretty much any laptop or desktop in order to use. With that being said, the need for any optical drive, much less a basic technology like a compact disc, is diminishing rapidly and already long gone in many cases.