[NTLK] Another Apple Newton Research Survey

Mike mdsf001 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 17 03:31:14 EDT 2016

Thank you for the link to the survey.

Here's some of what I had to say in my responses.
Firstly, several of the features have found themselves into the iPad not 
just iPod.

I still own (and occasionally operate) several Newton MessagePads. I 
found the device to be far ahead of its time and went on to become an 
Apple Solution Professional (that was a external consultant program 
Apple had set up) as a Newton consultant and in order to evangelize 
about the Newton.

At the time, Apple was in a very difficult financial situation and when 
Steve Jobs returned to the company he had to make several difficult 
decisions (some based on sound business reasons and some based on 
personal reasons). The reason to cancel the Newton was one based on the 
latter. He never liked the Newton (it being a pet project of John 
Sculley, who ousted Jobs several years earlier).

There was no good reason to cancel the Newton since Gil Amelio, Apple's 
CEO before the returning Steve Jobs, had already started the process to 
spin off the Newton in to a separate, independent company. Starting 
capital had been lined up and a team was being put in place. It looked 
like a 'fait accompli'. Then Jobs stopped everything, reversed what had 
been done and cancelled the Newton.

It was expensive but the things it was able to do still aren't done by 
my latest iPad (for example speaking alarms where my Newton not only 
alerted me with a sound that I had a meeting but it spoke the details of 
the reminder (name, date, time, place, etc...).

Also, the handwriting recognition of the last model of the MessagePad 
was practically flawless (98% recognition rate).

Unfortunately, the Newton was the right device at the wrong time in 
Apple's history.
Spinning or not, I have to set the record straight for our beloved Newt.


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