Mobility

Newton's return? Apple rehires guru behind its PDA bomb

Does the return of developer Michael Tchao to Apple mean that a Mac Tablet is on the horizon? Here's the scuttlebutt.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDNet, TechRepublic's sister site. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines (or subscribe to the RSS feed).

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Apple has rehired Michael Tchao, the developer behind the company's Newton personal digital assistant. May the Mac Tablet rumors begin.

Tchao's hiring, as reported by the New York Times, may indicate a Mac Tablet is on the way. In fact, there will be a lot of tablets on the way from multiple vendors. Tchao brings a lot to Apple's table. For starters, he knows what not to do with a tablet. He also has scars from the Netwon bellyflop.

However, let's not get carried away with this Mac Tablet talk. Tchao may be best known for his Newton experience, but it's not like that's the only thing on his resume. He was the general manager of Nike's Techlab, which integrated shoes and armbands to integrate with the iPod. Indeed, the iPod nano's pedometer and Nike integration may be as appealing as its other features.

Simply put, Tchao's return may not mean that the Mac Tablet, or Newton 2.0, is imminent. There are a bunch of things Tchao could do at Apple. Of course, it won't hurt to have Tchao around to tell Newton war stories.

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