Until last week, the eMac and iBook lines were Apple's last actively updated systems to maintain Mac OS 9 booting. With the new models shipping, it now appears that only a $1,299-base Power Mac G4, available through the online Apple store, will retain Mac OS 9 startup capabilities.
Apple's eMac page simply states:
"Both models of the eMac boot up in Mac OS X, but they also come with the Classic environment, which runs compatible Mac OS 9 software and is automatically turned on when you launch a Classic application. We did this so schools could continue to run their Classic Mac applications at top speed."
Some readers are also reporting problems installing and using Mac OS X 10.2.x (Jaguar, for applications that are not yet Panther compatible) on the new eMacs.