Apple will enter Mac Expo in San Francisco this weekend with a financial burden round its neck that could lead to layoffs. The job losses are likely to hit Apple?s own research and development and technical staff. These were criticised by chief technical officer Ellen Hancock at a November Apple developers? conference in London for producing plans that did not lead to viable software strategies and products.
Losses are on the cards. Gil Amelio, chief executive of Apple, warned last week that turnover for the first quarter of its financial year will fall by 13 per cent to $2.01 billion, from a figure of $2.32 billion in the same period last year, and it will report an operating loss ranging from $100 to $150 million.
Yet Amelio, whose company acquired Next two weeks ago for $400 million, claimed in a public statement that his plans for Apple "remain sound", despite difficulties with shortages of Powerbooks and poor retail sales.
He said: ?Our...three year strategic plan remains sound and we continue to lay the groundwork for the transformation of Apple. We need to reduce Apple?s cost infrastructure so that we can achieve break even results at a revenue level of $8 billion...and the Next acquisition will contribute to this cost reduction process.?
Amelio hinted that developers and end users could expect a merger of the Next and Apple operating systems. Steve Jobs, who was a co-founder of Apple, is expected to mastermind the complicated process. The Nextstep OS, like Windows NT, has a Carnegie-Mellon microkernel and basic compatibility with Unix.
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