RIP, PowerBook: 1991-2006

When Apple Computer introduced the first PowerBook in 1991, it was a dud. Not technologically -- as a relatively lightweight laptop with the power of a desktop Mac, it was a marked improvement over Apple's first attempt at portability, the hulking Mac Portable. But, like many Apple products, the PowerBook was initially priced at a level too high for the market to bear. Repriced at about $1,000, the model took off, and launched a line that would become nearly synonymous with Apple for years to come. Until today, that is. As part of the launch of the MacBook, Apple apparently removed the last remaining PowerBook, the 12-inch model, from its site earlier today (Apple also killed the iBook brand, but we don't really see anyone missing that nearly as much). While not unexpected, the retirement of the PowerBook does mark the end of a brand with a long, storied history as a sturdy, reliable workhorse, which later -- after Steve Jobs' return to the company -- morphed into a sleek and stylish object of desire for visual and creative artists. It also marks the end of the line for one of the last Apple brands still remaining from the interregnum between Jobs I and Jobs II: only the vestigial Power Mac G5 remains from that period. Will Apple retire that one as well, or will Jobs allow one product to carry the legacy of the Sculley, Spindler and Amelio? Yeah, when put like that, we'd vote to kill it, too. So, we'll wipe the tears. Now, bring us that Intel desktop already, Steve. Whatever you decide to call it.

[Thanks, Jonathan]