[NTLK] write to Tim Cook

Morgan Aldridge morgant at makkintosshu.com
Fri Dec 2 11:26:50 EST 2011

On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM, David Ensteness <denstene at mac.com> wrote:
> Mac OS v.7.5.5 has been available to anyone with a Mac that will run it (i.e. granting a license for supported hardware) for something like 15 years if I recall correctly [via support.apple.com].

To play devil's advocate:

Unfortunately, there are many versions incl. System 7.1, 7.6, Mac OS
8-8.6, Mac OS 9 for which even Apple doesn't have the legal rights to
distribute due to not having permission from all companies from which
code/software is included. So, it's not just a Matter of Apple saying,
"Okay, let's just give it away now." They'd have to have permission
from Paragon for cursive handwriting recognition, maybe Sharp for
beaming protocols, maybe Adobe for PostScript, and who knows what
other code/software/patents/etc. would need approval/royalties to do
so. While it was a shipping product, they had incentive to keep up
with the legal requirements for distributing the software and it was
worth doing so, but at this point (esp. after it's been stored
"someplace safe" for all this time) it would be extremely
time-consuming & expensive to do something like that.

The reality is that we have a complex & costly legal system and that
we won't get the source code or even the rights to the Newton OS. Our
best bet is to continue developing software for the Newton OS & Newton
hardware and to support the development of Newton OS-compatible
environments such as Einstein on non-Newton hardware. The former helps
greatly with the latter as it improves our understanding of the
NewtonOS internals & hardware we have to emulate.


More information about the NewtonTalk mailing list