March 7th, 2012
In honor of today’s iPad announcement, here’s another Newton appearance on a “worst of tech” appearance — this time on Bloomberg’s Tech’s Biggest Broken Promises slideshow:
Known as Newton, the name of its operating system, the line of Apple handhelds set out to revolutionize computing with its touch-screen and handwriting-recognition software. The technology was so bad in the $700 debut models that it became the butt of “Doonesbury” jokes: “I am writing a test sentence” became “Siam fighting atomic sentry.”
Right. Bloomberg throws the Newton a bone by lumping it in with other “heavily hyped products that were ideas ahead of their time” — the like Betamax.
June 20th, 2011
Oh look: another “top 10 crappy tech products” list from Mashable:
Although expensive and a little buggy, the touchscreen MessagePad PDAs enjoyed popularity among many Apple fans, and have since reached cult status.
Too niche and costly at the time to be sustained by Apple, the Newton platform and related hardware was axed by Steve Jobs. He instead streamlined the Apple product portfolio soon after his return to the company in 1997.
Thanks, Mashable, for that original blog idea.
April 14th, 2008
Forbes.com has a list of the best Apple innovations ever. The Newton is where you land in the photo gallery, which then takes you to the obvious iPod and iPhone. The Forbes lists the MessagePad because:
What It Does: A commercial failure, this software put a computer with an elegant touch-screen interface in a user’s pocket.
Why It’s Great: Apple’s pocket computer failed first, setting Apple up for success with the iPhone.
Isn’t it funny how so many web sites are doing Apple-related lists? And most of them include Newton, for good or ill? And how much of life can really be put into “top ten such-and-such” lists before it loses some of its magic?
Soon, I’ll bet.
It’s like reading those magazine covers that brag “10 best ways to please your hubby” or “Five easy ways to flatter abs.” Are we so dumbed-down we need it broken up into list-sized chunks?
Speaking of which, I’ll have a “10 best things to do with your Newton” post coming up soon.