Top Ten PDA Failures: I guess I take exception to the Apple Newton being on this list. Yes, it failed, but it was the failure that got everyone thinking about what was possible. In that sense, it was like the Tucker of PDAs.
Perhaps one of the most ambitious tech projects in recent times, Apple spent hundreds of millions of dollars on devices that were at first ridiculed, then ignored. The Newton was disparaged because of its inaccurate handwriting recognition, which was fixed in later versions, and it was never able to live down its reputation.
I still remember sitting on the back steps of a classroom at Camp Pendleton, CA where I was on my two weeks active duty requirement at the time. This would have been summer of 1994. Some guy had a Newton and everyone was crowded around him to see what it did. I watched in amazement as he scribbled over some text and it disappeared in a little puff of “smoke.” I was blown away.
Incidentally, I also stumbled across the CNet article from 1998 announcing the death of Newton.
Ah, memories. Via OSNews.