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Newton protest planned

Some programmers and users are not taking news of the Newton's demise well, taking to the streets to make their feelings known.

Some programmers and users are not taking news of the Newton's demise all that well and are taking to the streets to make their feelings known.

Tomorrow, users are planning to meet at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, in protest of the decision to end Newton development. Newton supporters are being encouraged to email Apple officials and phone headquarters, as well.

The planned protest comes in the wake of last week's announcement that Apple Computer (AAPL) will discontinue development of Newton OS-based products, including the MessagePad 2100 and eMate 300.

Apple could not be reached for comment on the planned protest.

Adam Tow, head of the Newton Developers Association, issued a press release stating that the meeting is intended to provide a "unified voice for the thousands of Newton customers around the globe that have been orphaned."

Tow noted that the group will focus on garnering an explanation from senior management as to why the Newton OS has been discontinued, not on picketing Apple with demands to change their mind.

"Newton technology has developed to the point where it is the best handheld computer on the market today. We cannot let one man's prejudice tear down the foundation created from the blood, sweat, and tears of thousands of dedicated people over the past decade," he said, referring to Steve Jobs's decision to end Newton development.

Tow's campaign isn't the only last-ditch effort to bring back the Newton. A number of letter writing campaigns are being conducted in an effort to persuade the company to reconsider its plans.

Aside from wanting Newton products to continue on, Tow observed that canceling the Newton might affect customer perceptions of the company: An air of "uncertainty and suspicion" could replace "cautious optimism for the future" in markets such as education, where the eMate was principally sold.