120Mb floppy camp ready to head off Zip

The 120Mb floppy camp is showing signs of being able to take on Iomega's all-conquering Zip drive.

Inside the last fortnight both Siemens Nixdorf and Fujitsu ICL said they will build LS-120 drives into PC ranges from April. "We believe that the LS-120 technology has the capability of becoming a new industry standard," said Rolf Kleinwachter, product marketing leader for PCs at Siemens Nixdorf. "Most importantly ... the LS-120 standard provides backwards compatibility to several billion 3.5-inch diskettes already installed in the market." Iomega's huge-selling Zip doesn't support standard floppies and also has a smaller capacity of 100Mb per cartridge.

The LS-120 lobby is bullish about prospects for the technology. "The pent-up demand is huge and the companies who can make the drives will make a fortune," said Lance Quantrill, UK communications manager for Imation.

Another spokesman for an LS-120 booster who requested anonymity, said: "Zip is not backwards compatible with floppy and you really have to jump ships to go with it. We think there have been about three million Zip drives shipped. You look at the number of PCs being shipped and the Comdex announcement that Matsushita will build half a million 120Mb floppy drives a month and it won't be long before the numbers are really rocking and rolling."

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