[NTLK] (OT) re: Courier

Forrest Buffenmyer anasazi4st at me.com
Wed Apr 7 03:13:02 EDT 2010

On Tuesday, April 06, 2010, at 09:59PM, "Daniel Jagendorf" <bufoamer at nyct.net> wrote:
>One thing to keep in mind is that Courier doesn't exist.
>The presentation is a computer graphic video of a product without any specifications (similar to the original knowledge navigator ad).  This is Microsoft's old tactic of FUD, trying to stifle a competing product by making an announcement about something that they will produce badly 10 years later.  The name was originally meant for a mobile standard used to sync info between home and business pc's.

Excellent article--thanks for sharing that.

It brings to mind some of the "fables" that surround the end of the Newton--I say "fables" because the only people who know for sure--Gates and Jobs--aren't talking. There's been some speculation that, in exchange for HWR, a tablet-style device, and the education market served by the eMate, Bill Gates made the famous $150 million loan to Steve Jobs and Apple to save the company. Some of that story can be found in David MacNeill's "Newton Notes" column in the June 1998 edition of "Pen Computing" magazine:

"Bill Gates bought the education market from Jobs for $500 million"

Bear with me here; this one reads like an X-Files episode. Back when Newton OS 2.0 was released, Apple threw a party during Comdex Las Vegas. We all had a great time, then Bill Gates showed up to cheer us on. That night, I'm told, Gates saw the MessagePad 2000 prototype and flipped out over it. It is conjectured that this was when he saw the true possibilities of what was to become Windows CE. In the following year Gates saw the eMate prototype and immediately appreciated its potential to revolutionize education. Gates' wife Melinda then had a baby girl, and Gates decided he wanted eMate-like devices running Windows CE in the hands of every student in America, if not the world.

Soon, Apple Computer is on the rocks. Jobs and Gates--who have been portrayed in the media as bitter rivals but are actually good friends--conceived a scheme to save Apple. Microsoft poured a huge pile of cash into Apple, built a killer new Macintosh version of Microsoft Office 98 along with other hot new products for the Mac, and agreed to combine several key technologies between the two companies rather than compete technologically.

In exchange for their very survival, Jobs agreed to (a) sell $150 million in non-voting Apple stock to Microsoft; (b) settle out of court all pending Apple litigation against Microsoft for an undisclosed sum; (c) make Microsoft Internet Explorer the default web browser on all new Macs; and (d) give Gates complete access to key Apple technologies.

That's the public part that everybody knows. I have spoken to former Newton developers who claim this scheme goes much farther. The undisclosed amount paid by Microsoft, they say, combined with the $150 million, actually came to half a billion dollars. Among the stipulations to which Jobs allegedly agreed was that he would prematurely snuff Newton, thereby deliberately angering the education market so they would adopt Windows CE-based eMate-like devices.

And what was Gates' motivation? He was supposedly ticked off at Compaq for making a soon to be announced eMate clone that runs Windows 95 instead of Windows CE. This unnamed device is reportedly targeted directly at schools. Compaq is one of the few companies big enough to do whatever it bloody well wants and say "to hell with Microsoft." It is widely believed that Gates wants the world to run on Windows NT and Windows CE, while the bloated and increasingly unsustainable Windows 95 fades away. To ensure that events in the education market happen on his terms instead of Compaq's, Gates supposedly bought the market for handheld school computers from Apple.

I don't believe this is the way it went down, but it is interesting to speculate about what Steve Jobs did agree to in these meetings."

If you believe that something like this could have occurred, it's even more baffling why Microsoft hasn't been able to release anything that's held any of the promise hinted at with the Newton.


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