Apple rejigs products, kills Newton

Apple rejigs products, kills Newton

Apple Computer has moved closer to standardising on its G3 processors across the board, introducing a high-end server and eliminating its Newton products division. Apple says the company's focus is on Mac OS-based products and that the Newton was "a distraction" from the job of rebuilding the company.

Interim CEO Steve Jobs is known to dislike the Newton, which was introduced during John Sculley's tenure as Apple CEO in 1993.

The demise of Newton follows over a year of speculation, since the return of co-founder Steve Jobs to the company in January 1997. When Jobs became interim CEO in July, the company planned to spin out the Newton division as a separate entity.

That plan was reversed in October. Most recently, the eMate 300 product, a notebook computer based on the Newton OS and hardware and designed for the education market, was moved into the PowerBook group. Speculation is now rife that a Mac OS-based eMate might form the basis of Apple's Network Computing strategy. Apple Australia's product marketing manager Bill Harrington told ARN: "There is a recognition that the eMate form factor was 'cool' and it was well-accepted. It is very likely that there will be future products based on that design."

Meanwhile, the company's plan to standardise on the latest-generation PowerPC processor, G3 (aka PowerPC 750), has moved a step closer with the introduction of a server based on the new architecture. The WorkGroup server G3, with an RRP of $6495, features a 233MHz PowerPC G3 CPU, 512KB Level 2 backside cache, 117MHz backside bus speed, 66MHz system bus speed, 24x CD-ROM drive, 64MB SDRAM (upgradable to 384MB), 2MB SGRAM, 4GB Ultra Fast and Wide SCSI hard drive, and 100Base-T as well as 10Base-T Ethernet port. The server comes preloaded with AppleShare IP version 5, and MacOS 8.1 tuned especially for server operation.

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