A number of new products were announced at the recent Microsoft Third International Conference on CD-ROM in Seattle. Apple now has a CD-ROM drive that connects directly to a Macintosh hard disk port or to an Apple II with an add-in card. The price is $1,199. With the present software the Apple CD-ROM drive is limited; search results can be displayed on the PC, but they cannot be manipulated and reformatted. Atari will begin marketing a $599 drive in June for its Atari ST and Mega computers. Tandy will also have a CD-ROM drive available for IBM PCs and clones by late spring.
According to Microsoft's Bill Gates, there are now 50,000 CD-ROM drives in use. He believes the number will pass One million by 1991, with a CD-ROM becoming a popular option for most PCs.