Former Newton developer rehired by Apple for marketing role

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Fifteen years after he left Apple, one of the original developers of the Newton touchscreen handheld device has returned to the company, as it is believed to be developing that product's spiritual successor.



The hiring of Michael Tchao was confirmed Monday evening by The New York Times. In his role, he will report directly to Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.



From June 1990 to August 1994, his title with Apple was group manager, product planning & strategy, personal interactive electronics. Prior to that, starting in 1986, he held a few other managerial positions with the Mac maker.



Prior to his re-hiring, Tchao worked with iPods as the general manager for Nike Techlab and Nike+. He had been with the shoe maker since 2002.



Given Tchao's involvement with Apple's now-defunct Newton, as well as persistent reports of Apple's anticipated tablet, expected to arrive in early 2010, the Times hypothesizes that his role could be to market the new device. Reports suggest it will be a 10-inch, 3G-enabled touchscreen device much like a large iPod touch.



"It is not clear what his new duties at Apple will entail; Apple would not comment further on the matter, and Mr. Tchao did not immediately respond to a phone message," the report said. "But identifying a market for the much-rumored Apple tablet could certainly be among them. Mr. Tchao gets the credit (or perhaps the blame) for convincing John Sculley, Apple?s former chief executive, to integrate the company?s handwriting-recognition technology into a consumer device."



One anonymous source said that Tchao is a man with "great ideas" -- as well as his share of "scars" -- regarding tablet computing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    interesting
  • Reply 2 of 48
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    ... that's exactly what I was going to say.
  • Reply 3 of 48
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    When I saw this video I though..man the Newton was really ahead and probably that's why it failed. No one was ready for it. Yes there were problems with it but the thing looks really amazing. The only thing missing was wireless internet access, which didn't exist then.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    When I saw this video I though..man the Newton was really ahead and probably that's why it failed. No one was ready for it. Yes there were problems with it but the thing looks really amazing. The only thing missing was wireless internet access, which didn't exist then.



    That's what many of us have been saying about the Newton for YEARS!



    It was a fantastic, forward thinking device that was WAY over-hyped and put on the market a generation too soon. had the handwriting recognition been better in version 1, the story would have been FAR different than it turned out.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    He hired back John Scully?!?! Wow how big of him! I had no idea Jobs could be so forgiving.



    ...oh wait... just skimmed the article... never-mind!



    Dave
  • Reply 6 of 48
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post


    That's what many of us have been saying about the Newton for YEARS!



    It was a fantastic, forward thinking device that was WAY over-hyped and put on the market a generation too soon. had the handwriting recognition been better in version 1, the story would have been FAR different than it turned out.



    I still remember when it was released years back (around 1994?), I was in high school then. I wanted to get one but it was too expensive. I used the money I saved to buy a desktop PC with 33 Mhz intel processor (there was a turbo switch to bring it up to 66 Mhz), CD player, and a printer. I can't remember the amount of RAM and the size of the HDD but they can't be more than few MB. I remember everyone was WOW this is fast machine

    Now people complain that a device the size of your palm have a "slow" 600Mhz processor with 256MB RAM and 32GB storage space
  • Reply 7 of 48
    g-dogg-dog Posts: 171member
    I've met with him and this guy is brilliant.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    Go mikey, go mikey, go mikey.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    While goodness all around, I thought the iPhone was the Newton's spiritual successor.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    I still remember when it was released years back (around 1994?), I was in high school then. I wanted to get one but it was too expensive. I used the money I saved to buy a desktop PC with 33 Mhz intel processor (there was a turbo switch to bring it up to 66 Mhz), CD player, and a printer. I can't remember the amount of RAM and the size of the HDD but they can't be more than few MB. I remember everyone was WOW this is fast machine

    Now people complain that a device the size of your palm have a "slow" 600Mhz processor with 256MB RAM and 32GB storage space



    I miss the Turbo switch from the 286/386 etc. days. It was like, "f** yeah lets get it on!!!" when you pressed it and the numbers (sometimes displayed prominently in digital form on the case) magically doubled.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    Welcome Back, Tchao. Welcome back...
  • Reply 12 of 48
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    I miss the Turbo switch from the 286/386 etc. days. It was like, "f** yeah lets get it on!!!" when you pressed it and the numbers (sometimes displayed prominently in digital form on the case) magically doubled.



    Mine was pressed in all the time, you mean you actually used the "non-turbo" mode? LOL, maybe Windows ran too fast. NOT!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G-Dog View Post


    I've met with him and this guy is brilliant.



    Well, he better not f** this one up!
  • Reply 13 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CU10 View Post


    Mine was pressed in all the time, you mean you actually used the "non-turbo" mode? LOL, maybe Windows ran too fast. NOT!







    Well, he better not f** this one up!



    Windows?



    Don't you mean DOS?
  • Reply 14 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    While goodness all around, I thought the iPhone was the Newton's spiritual successor.



    Nah, the iPhone/iPod touch can fit in a pocket and can be operated with one hand. There is no handwriting recognition.



    The MessagePad pretty much always required two-handed operation. One to hold the thing, the other held the stylus. If you visit the Wikipedia entry for the Apple Newton, you can see a photo comparing an iPhone dwarfed by a MessagePad 2100.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    I really don't want a tablet which requires another phone contract.



    Hell, I almost wish for a really simple looking phone that shares 3G data over wifi. I might have bought that plus an iPod Touch (which would then get wifi everywhere), instead of an iPhone.



    Just one data service please
  • Reply 16 of 48
    Will he be working on the tablet or the iPhone?
  • Reply 17 of 48
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    The Newton was squarely business oriented and traded some ease of use for sophisticated functionality.



    I wonder if the modern Apple would release a device that was either of those things.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    Great news!



    Maybe now we will finally get the EXTERNAL KEYBOARD and PEN INPUT that the Newton had back in 1997!



    The iPhone has been dumbed down to be a "smart phone" instead of a "powerful portable computer and communication device."



    I rather have something much more powerful like a Mac or a Newton than dumbed down iPhone or iTouch.



    Try writing a few paragraphs or doing even the simplest of graphics on the iPhone and you will realize what a toy it is.



    The iPhone can be, and should be much more powerful instead of having it's functionally arbitrarily limited.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CU10 View Post


    Mine was pressed in all the time, you mean you actually used the "non-turbo" mode? LOL, maybe Windows ran too fast. NOT!



    Haha for some games you had to run with Turbo "off". Because the game would run too fast. All your bases would be belonged before you could even blink if you were playing games from few years ago.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gimpymw View Post


    Windows?

    Don't you mean DOS?



    286/ 386 era there was the ol' Windows 3.x ... the fun experimental days before the craptacular Win95 and Win98/Me...
  • Reply 20 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    I miss the Turbo switch from the 286/386 etc. days. It was like, "f** yeah lets get it on!!!" when you pressed it and the numbers (sometimes displayed prominently in digital form on the case) magically doubled.



    As far as I know the TURBO button was to be used the other way round.



    It was for compatibility mode, for playing 286 games/apps that were tied to a certain CPU speed.



    So games would run too fast so you have to hit the turbo.
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