People who critisize Apple
's technical decisions usually don't use Mac
s on a day to day basis, or else they'd realize that the decision not to include a floppy
drive on newer Mac models is the result of several factors.
First of all, MacOS networking is such that if you have Macs in a networked environment, setting up file sharing is so easy that it would be foolish not to use it in place of less reliable transportation systems - i.e., floppy disks.
Secondly, I think Apple realizes that they can safely eliminate obsolete hardware because they don't have obsolete conventions that they must adhere to. Apple also realizes that we live in an age of cheap networking harder and cheap broadband connections. If your computer is the only one you have, and you never need to put files on any other computer, you don't need a floppy drive to begin with.
If you have more than one Mac in your house, AppleTalk and file sharing are you best bet. Even if you could use floppies for that, why would you want to? Direct file sharing is so much more economical.
If you have Macs and PCs in your house, you are better off using TCP/IP, if it is available, and failing that, using CD-RW media, as it has a larger capacity and both MacOS and Windows use ISO-9660 for CDs, rather than their native filesystem types.
Finally, a hypothetic situation to prove my point. Let's say you have an iMac or G4 at home that you use to type a big English paper on. You go to print it out at 10 pm the night before it's due, only to discover that your printer will absolutely not cooperate. You are left with no choice but to print your paper on the school computers. Unfortunately, your school is all Windows (like mine), with not a Mac in sight. Assuming you even had a floppy drive, you would still need to format it as a Windows floppy, copy your MS Word file onto it, and then carry it to school. It might get damaged on the way, or the computer at school you try to copy it to might have a dysfunctional floppy drive. Basically, it's not the most trustworthy medium for file shuffling. Now, here's a better solution. You grab a copy of the shareware program NetPresenz for your Mac. You get a makeshift FTP server going, and you drop your .doc file into it. At school, you fire up ftp.exe and copy it painless onto your school computer's hard drive, and print it out.
So you see, the reason Apple removed the floppy drives from the NewWorld Macs, is because they knew the FDDs would have a very small number of users, which only continue to decline. Therefore, there is no point in Macs having an FDD when there exist better and more reliable solutions to the problem FDDs originally purported to solve. People who list this as their main reason for badmouthing Macs are, incidentally, way off the mark.