A week ago I made some Storage Predictions for 2003, including this one:

Someone will start shipping some form of removable storage (probably optical) that offers 50GB or more on something the size of a CD or smaller. Initial versions will be write-once and expensive; lower costs and rewritable versions won’t hit until 2004.

Some people, including Wes Felter, expressed skepticism. I was therefore interested in this story about Small Form Factor Optical (originally found on Boing Boing, later on Slashdot). If I’m doing the math right, 4GB on a 3cm disk would translate to about 58GB on a 5.25″ (13cm) disk. It’s not 100% clear that the same density can be maintained in the larger format, or that Philips has any interest in trying, but on the other hand SFFO supposed to be rewritable even in the first iteration and the media/drive prices seem very low. It might not quite fit my prediction, but if they really pull it off in 2003 I won’t mind being “wrong”.