The first floppy disk was invented by a team of researchers at IBM in the year 1971. The team was headed by Alan Shugart and the main designer in the team was David Noble. The professionals at IBM wanted to create a device which could store information for the users as backup for their software programmes and other files. These floppy disks were known as memory disks in the beginning. The first floppy disk was 8” in diameter and was made of plastic material and had magnetic iron oxide. These floppy disks were a great success. Later the disk faced some limitations due to its big size and non- reliability over a longer period. Many companies started on improving the original floppy.
Shugart Associates started the production of 51/4” disks in the year 1976. And it took just two years for nine more companies to start the production for the same.
Soon the new developed disk also fell into the line of the obsolete ones and its place was taken by 31/2” of disks produced by Sony in mid 1980s. The disk was smaller in size but could hold more of data.
The computers in the market of 1980s had both 51/4” and 31/2” disk drives but in 1990s the 51/4” lost its market and a small, handy 31/2” captured it all. The new disks were made stronger and did not allowed dust to accumulate on it. But by mid 1990s floppy disk lost all its market to the new software.