What They Did After Newton

In his column for The Daily Transcript, Phil Baker writes about the recent twenty year reunion of the Apple Newton Messagepad team. The Messagepad was the first Personal Digital Assistant and Apple started selling it in 1993, and it’s most known feature was handwriting recognition.

  • The product Apple sold was known as the Messagepad, and it ran the Newton Operating System. As I recall Newton had three distinguishing characteristics:

        • To my knowledge it was the first fully object oriented operating system sold in a consumer grade product, and I am not aware of any other similar OO environments included within products.
        • Newton OS combined internal and external storage cards, back then PC Cards, into one integrated pool of storage or “soup.”
        • It was the first and perhaps list significant product that Apple licensed and sold to third parties for their own products. I believe both Casio and Sharp released their own versions of the Messagepad that ran Newton.

In the column Baker writes about what the individuals who were part of the team went on to do after Steve Jobs ended the Newton and Messagepad development in 1998. I did not know that Jony Ive, who today is the lead designer at Apple, was the industrial designer for the second generation Messagepad. Apparently as much as Jobs disliked Newton, he didn’t hold that against Ive.

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About Frank

Mobile enthusiast and author
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