Information from a reliable source indicates that most of the engineers working on the Newton are gone, short of those given the task of fitting a PowerPC chip into the eMate shell in place of the existing StrongARM processor. With the addition of a color screen and a stripped-down version of Mac OS reportedly under development, you end up with an inexpensive Mac OS-based network computer (combined with Rhapsody servers for a complete solution) that can potentially work off the network with decent battery life as well. The practical upshot of this is that the MessagePad 2100 will be the final Newton, and inventory is expected to run dry sometime in the next few months. What makes this situation so confusing is that Apple only recently reabsorbed Newton, Inc. – if all Apple wanted was the eMate plastics and some engineers, why not let the Newton group continue on its own or at least release the important Newton source code to the large and active Newton development community?
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