Comdex appears to be challenging the National Computer Conference as the most important computer hardware and software show. Tens-of-thousands jammed Atlanta during some of the hottest days of the summer. The “hot” topics inside were desktop publishing, IBM's new PS/2 systems, portable computers, and telefacsimile; but the real “sizzler” was Sharp's erasable optical disk. The 422 Mbyte 5.25 inch disk drive is an advanced prototype which is expected to reach the market in 1988. Specifications and prices are not being released at this time, but attendees took hundreds of close-up photographs. Reportedly, Optimem was scheduled to show its erasable optical drive also, but its parent company withheld the funds needed for full-scale development in order to achieve greater profitability in 1987.
Only 2,000 erasable drives are expected to be shipped in 1988, but the number should increase to nearly 70,000 in 1989. A small erasable optical drive of this capacity could have a revolutionary effect on the use of PCs because it would increase storage capacity by up to 1,000 times.