Linked by Thomas Hormby on Wed 17th Nov 2004 19:43 UTC
Apple According to many economists, Gilbert Amelio is the savior of businesses in trouble. With this in mind, the board of directors at Apple decided to appoint Gil Amelio to the board after reporting another huge loss in 1994. At the time, Michael Spindler was the head of Apple, and sales in every division. The board accepted Spindler's resignation and appointed Gil Amelio to the helm of Apple.
Order by: Score:
Gil Amelio
by Chris on Wed 17th Nov 2004 19:49 UTC

The problem with Gil Amelio was that he could have turned around Apple, in 3-5 years. Apple didn't have 3-5 years to live. He didn't stand a chance. Amelio was accustomed to a typical business reacting in certain ways; Apple was a not a typical company and he lacked the skills to turn it around.

Nice quick read, but...
by Raul on Wed 17th Nov 2004 20:37 UTC

the line "Apple was still stuck on an operating system obsolete ten years before." is a little over the top as at the time operating system was excellent at networking out of the box.

by NinjaMonkey on Wed 17th Nov 2004 20:38 UTC

I agree. Apple was going down fast, Sculley and Spindler just didn't get what made Apple special in the first place and Amelio could not have saved Apple at the point he was brought in.

Apple needed Jobs back, not just for the OS he brought along but he is not just Apple's CEO but he is also Apple's best sales guy. Jobs did everything right after his return, he simplified product lines, and sparked innovation in a company that besides the Newton hadn't done anything interesting in a decade.

In my mind Jobs forcing Amelio out was in the best interests of Apple.

Re: Nice quick read, but...
by Anonymous on Wed 17th Nov 2004 20:42 UTC

"the line "Apple was still stuck on an operating system obsolete ten years before." is a little over the top"

I was thinking the same thing. At the time, they were definately due for an update, but that update was really to re-extend the lead they had. At the time, Windows was very close to achieving parity. "Obsolite" is defined by what was then the standard. Windows was close to the mac OS, but the Mac OS was certinly not ten years behind.

The best microsoft has ever done in my opinion is maybe a 3-4 year lead... before OS X was released. After the fact, Apple increasingly retained its 10 year lead.

Nice work
by Brian Becker on Wed 17th Nov 2004 20:51 UTC

I have to say, I wish I were as good a writer at 17 as this budding young historian. Keep it up.


by vondur on Wed 17th Nov 2004 20:57 UTC

the line "Apple was still stuck on an operating system obsolete ten years before." is a little over the top"
How true that was. Although system 7 was nice and fairly easy to use, it lacked real multitasking and any memory protection. At this point in time Apple was competing against WinNT which was far more stable than the Mac OS at the time. My how times have changed since then! Steve really did save Apple from doom. DOOOOM!

by spaceboy29 on Wed 17th Nov 2004 21:10 UTC

Didn't some of Apple employee's in the mid 90's move to Microsoft after being laid off at Apple?

The Visionaries
by GrapeGraphics on Wed 17th Nov 2004 21:22 UTC

A company steered by a board of directors... that was one of the problems... M$ always had Gates, love 'im or hate 'im...

With the lack of someone with real passion at the helm Apple faultered. Apple excels by catering to the creatives, so they need creatives at the helm...

all IMHO

I wrote the following many moons ago... I believe early 90's... This is NOT edited so forgive any un-english.

The Visionaries

Bill, Steve, & Steve

Years have passed. The potential seemed omnivorous to Bill, Steve, & Steve... the opportunity was, literally, at their fingertips. Incredible opportunity as it turned out. There were other visionaries, greater by vision and by numbers, but this article is only about Bill, Steve, & Steve and their visions. What creatures had been born of 'em. Abominations true.

Microsoft and Apple, that's whom I'm talking about... the vision I mean is not their vision, but my conception of the vision. Our vision... picture Microsoft... Bill is the leader, the man. He is the force that drives it. Good or evil. His picture can be put at the mast.

Apple. Accordingly, used to have two heads (Steve & Steve). The religion of Mac, the vision... the implementation was just as good, just as evil as Bill, but something happened. Apple had lost it's heads. Lost their vision. Spiritually and emotionally. Who was Mac? The users? The Board of Hypocritical Directors? Who was at the mast?

Apple needs to survive, to flourish! Jeez, by actually saying that out load makes it so ludicrous. Apple doesn't need to survive, the vision needs to survive. Someone must lead the revolution, the evolution. Someone or something... Can the amputated head be sewn back on and function properly? Can the body go to the bathroom and relieve itself? A lot of shit has clogged up the bowels and must be relieved before eating anymore food.

A Steve was brought back. I'm glad. Initiative is being taken. No one else would have the balls, or the arrogance, Yeah, we need arrogance to push this vision forward. The decisions need to be made... both the bad and the good... At least we can see the pilot of this vessel... for how long? I hope until she dies... sooner or later! Give us a company that has potential, has vision. That makes the visions and marries them to the potentials... Makes reality out of fantasy. A company that forges forward.

written prior to Steve Jobs' return to Apple Computer. Written prior to the PowerPC.

Correct me if i'm wrong...
by burns210 on Wed 17th Nov 2004 21:24 UTC

System 7-7.5.3 did lack memory protection and multi-tasking. But the primary competition (the home desktop, not the business desktop) was Windows 3 and 95... 7.0 came out in May of 91 and 7.5.3, the most well-known and I believe last release of the 7.x branch came out in January of 95. To say that 7.5.3 didn't hold a candle to Windows 95 was simply wrong.

Each had nice strengths, each had glaring, glaring shortcomings. I tend to leane toward the mac for 7.5.3 on 'betterness'.

System 8 came out in mid-97 and was arguably competitive with 98, though the momentum had swung firmly out of Apple's favor. 98 was reliable enough and featureful enough to really over compensate and be the better of the twoo systems.

System 9 was out before ME, and was pretty much hands down superior, in part due to the extremely low quality of Windows ME, but also due to OS 9's maturity...

2000 was up against OS X server(99) and OS X 10.0 (2001), 2000 was more stable and reliable (and arguably more useful versus some of the mac's then missing features) than the mac until 10.2 was released.

With 10.2 the mac was essentially on par with XP, give or take in various areas.

10.3 is a step ahead in a few key areas, featurewise (expose and the like, hardware accelerated gui, unix finally being comfortably merged with the mac)... 10.4 will be the 'longhorn' equivalent, and is expected to be out about a year to a year and a half ahead of longhorn. Thus, Mac has pretty much retaken the 'technical' lead in operating systems for a few months.

PS. release dates grabbed from:

Nice article, and fairly well done. I have to admit, I was surprised to see the tagline at the bottom saying it was a High Schooler.

by ceaser on Wed 17th Nov 2004 21:29 UTC

is this a wikipedia article or an advertisement?

A good lesson learn
by shaitan on Wed 17th Nov 2004 22:33 UTC

I think Spindler and Amelio's near destruction of Apple was probably good for the company. It bought back Steve as a humbler visionary, with many lessons learned in failure. This I think makes for a much better and brighter future outcome for Apple then Microsoft, where Bill has never had to learn any such lessons. This shows in all his statements for the future of the PC. He still believes the PC as way too central. While this is currently true, as various functionalities of PC emerge and become standardized, these will move off the PC as they mature and become appliances, with much simpler interfaces and much better focus. Look at the MP3 player, basically a computer with hard disk , customized I/O, lcd screen, basically a pocket PC without Microsoft Office, Notepad and all the useless functions for a music player. Most of the things the general public wants will migrate to wireless phones or other wireless handheld or wireless photo frames. Then the PC will become invisible and nobody will really care about Microsoft Windows and MS Office.

re: A good lesson learn
by ced on Wed 17th Nov 2004 22:58 UTC

yes, I agree with you... except that MS is about to win the PDA war, actually. I think it's become urgent that Apple enter this market really, maybe by pushing the iPod to a real platform (I mean 'open to devs').

by Thomas on Wed 17th Nov 2004 23:12 UTC

I was thinking along the lines of NT being used in businesses more than the consumer operating systems. I would agree that the Mac OS has generally maintained parity with Windows, but I think that NT was for a long time the more advanced and stable operating system when compared to Mac OS.

Only recently (Mac OS 9.0) do I think that Mac OS has caught up feature wise with NT, and not until Mac OS X 10.1/10.2 do I think they have beaten NT stability/performance wise.

by NinjaMonkey on Wed 17th Nov 2004 23:18 UTC

I don't think Apple should enter a dying market. PDA's aren't selling well at all at least in the US anyway. Sony has already pulled out of the market and others aren't releasing a lot of models here. MS is leading the market because lots of others have dropped out.

by Thomas on Wed 17th Nov 2004 23:22 UTC

I think Amelio saved Apple through cost-cutting and reorginization. Steve Jobs came and finished the job.

@Caesar, Thomas and ninja
by mburns on Wed 17th Nov 2004 23:49 UTC

Ceasar: No, no ad, and no wiki. That was me just trying to put facts(along with my opinion) on the release date and OS comparison issue.

Thomas: I agree. I think part of the point was that Apple has not persued the busniness market(only recently do they lean that way with xserve, open directory, etc). NT is only now(XP) being pushed into the consumer market, so it is really two operating systems designed for opposing markets (NT for business/servers, OS X for desktops/artists) that are now mature enough to switch markets. An interesting approach and phenomenon to watch.

Ninja: I WANT a pda, yet one at a reasonable price, feature set and quality hasn't been put out. We need more competition to breed innovation, not less competition to breed a monopoly(MS is the lead, but even Palm as a monopoly is a Bad Thing).

by Concerned Citizen on Thu 18th Nov 2004 00:16 UTC

The thing everybody needs to understand about Apple is that Apple IS Steve Jobs. No one other than Steve Jobs has shown the ability to keep Apple in any state that resembles focused. When Jobs was gone, they had no real direction -- they spent a lot of time on projects that either never finished or yielded products people didn't want (like the Newton). When Jobs returned with the Reality Distortion Field (c), suddenly the company had vision again. Suddenly they were creating brand new markets in online music and digital music players. That's all Steve Jobs.

Apple is still a dying company
by Seth on Thu 18th Nov 2004 00:39 UTC

At only 1.8 % of the marketshare, Apple is still declining. The only thing that is keeping it alive is the iPod sales and the fact that no one really has a comparable product. As this changes tho,Apple will eventually just finsih dying off.

RE: Apple is still a dying company
by vondur on Thu 18th Nov 2004 00:53 UTC

Well, what do you expect, their OS is based on BSD, which has been dying for forever now!

by Thomas on Thu 18th Nov 2004 01:18 UTC

The install-base of Macs has not been higher.

windows me
by Antonio Sousa Silva on Thu 18th Nov 2004 01:28 UTC

"in part due to the extremely low quality of Windows ME"
i don't get this. everyone keeps on going on about how bad window me was. basically, if you need to use windows and don't have a especially powerful pc, me is the best option. yes, it's shit, but come on, we are talking about windows. in my opinion, after using it for a few years now, it's the best(faster, more stable) dos-based windows ever released. once again, i note, that's not saying much.

A Few Comments
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Nov 2004 01:36 UTC

"I agree. I think part of the point was that Apple has not persued the busniness market(only recently do they lean that way with xserve, open directory, etc). NT is only now(XP) being pushed into the consumer market, so it is really two operating systems designed for opposing markets (NT for business/servers, OS X for desktops/artists) that are now mature enough to switch markets. An interesting approach and phenomenon to watch."

How does that make it 10 years obsolete though? Go back 10 years from '94 and we're in 1984! The Mac had just been introduced and Windows was a piece of sh!t. So how is it 10 years behind in 1994?

That seriously needs revised.

"Didn't some of Apple employee's in the mid 90's move to Microsoft after being laid off at Apple?"

Apple has had thousands of employees since the 70s. People have always come and gone, and yes, this includes Microsoft. What's the point? Apple people have founded companies like Palm, Eazel (short-lived), OQO, and many, many others I can't recall at the moment. People left MS for Apple in the 90s too. I'm curious what you were leading towards by asking this question.

"Only recently (Mac OS 9.0) do I think that Mac OS has caught up feature wise with NT, and not until Mac OS X 10.1/10.2 do I think they have beaten NT stability/performance wise."

Umm, 9.0 is hardly different from 8.1. It's differences are updates to Carbon and compatibility updates for dealing with OS X. And OS 8 came out in '97. NT wasn't very good until service pack 4, which I beleive was in '99.

"At only 1.8 % of the marketshare, Apple is still declining. The only thing that is keeping it alive is the iPod sales and the fact that no one really has a comparable product."

No, it's not. It's got more users and more developers. The only relevant factors for judging the viability of the platform. Apple does't have to compare itself to the whole PC hardware world. And even if it did, it's Dell, HP, and then Apple is right there in the mix with the Toshibas and such.

about pdas and maybe some other stuff
by hobgoblin on Thu 18th Nov 2004 02:09 UTC

the pda market is mutateing into or mergeing with the mobile market, and from what i understand, usa never have had a good mobile market to begin with. think about it, the most interesting pdas right now is the blueberry and the treo. both are pdas with grafted on wireless, be it wifi or phone. then you have the ms pocket pc platform that is showing up in more and more phones, atleast from qtek (or whatever the name of that company was) as smartphones.

as for monopoly in this market, there is symbian, a fully multitasking, phone aimed, os that with some tweaking could be used as a pda os. sonyerricson uses it in their 800/900 series. and you allways have linux, motorola and sharps is going in that direction.

as for the quality of ME, its the worst pos os i have ever run into, even compared to the usual ms standard. win2k was a mutch better desktop os. xp would maybe have been interesting if not for that silly activation system.

to me tho, linux is the real future. no single company owns it, therefor one can not get a monopoly any time soon. problem is that is scares the managers and programmers used to earning money the microsoft way. basicly i think they are to set in their ways to fully grasp the effects of nobody owning the code.

by Raul on Thu 18th Nov 2004 02:24 UTC

you're right about larger business and it being more stable. I was at work when I wrote my post so I didn't get to elaborate. My experience at the time was an active mac network which was simple to set up. then an introduction of windows NT servers serving win95 machines which was a pain to setup and maintain compared o the small mac network. Times certainly have changed and I think the stability in OS X is great, although i do miss the consistency of pre OS X.

And I also want to say it was a well written article!

Amelio did the necessary steps
by Sean on Thu 18th Nov 2004 03:09 UTC

Amelio saved Jobs from having to make the hard decisions like layoffs and cost cutting. That's not to say Jobs didn't later have some layoffs of his own and cost cutting. It's just that it made things easier for Jobs going in.

maybe it was ms love.
by attila on Thu 18th Nov 2004 03:32 UTC

"Steve really did save Apple from doom. DOOOOM!"

lets try and not forget about mac office. if ms wanted to pull the plug on mac office development apple would be history, and lets not forget about the $150 million investment/donation ms made in apple which kept the company afloat. the only reason ms did that was its self interest which was to avoid any antitrust litigation.

maybe your quote should read:

"Bill really did save Apple from doom. DOOOOM!"

MS investment myth
by Ian Eisenberg on Thu 18th Nov 2004 03:58 UTC

Do we have to go round with the whole "MS invested 150 Mil and saved Apple" nonsense... AGAIN?

Also that whole Mac needs Office to survive! Given the Mac market I seriously doubt it.

Having worked at NeXT and Apple, we became the Enterprise Group and key individuals in Engineering and sales, this article needs some serious improvements on timelines, not to mention the valuation of the buyout of NeXT.

Including, this blurb:

By the fourth quarter of 1996, Apple posted a $25 million profit. Months later, Apple announced that it would by Steve Job's company, NeXT, for $430 million. NeXTSTEP would be the basis of the next Apple operating system, codenamed Rhapsody, marking the decline of Amelio's reign.

Clarifications: The merger was announced at the beginning of December 1996. Steve was asked to become a special consultant to Amelio--he was focused on PIXAR. It doesn't mention the fact NeXT was in IPO status. It claims it was the decline of Amelio's reign. Wrong. Flashforward to MacWorld 1997 and Gil's horrifically boring 3 plus hour keynote speech that spent nearly 45 minutes on the Apple Masters which included some dude with a Wallstreet Powerbook working in conjunction with his model airplanes.

We all at NeXT who were bussed over to MacWorld, wearing NeXT shirts and hats, were there as ambassadors and to answer any question regarding the NeXT offerings and what we do and how we will change/save Apple.

It doesn't mention Apple had 3 months of capital left to keep the doors open. Why would it mention that? He's just a kid who has no inside information on Apple.

It doesn't mention that Gil Amelio was leasing his private Jet to Apple at an astonishing $1500/mile. It doesn't mention that Executives were flying first class on Apple's payroll which was wasteful.

It doesn't mention how Amelio didn't streamline the company by consolidating 26 different marketing departments into 1 as when Steve came on as iCEO.

It doesn't reveal that Fred Anderson had already gotten a majority vote to oust Amelio and contacted Steve, who having grown tired of his visionary advice being ignored regarding Rhapsody (Openstep 4.2+) and no longer was even visiting Apple, drove over to Steve's house and personally offered a deal with him if he'd come back and help steer this company back to life. Steve insisted on interim-CEO. It was after two years of that title did he finally accept the full CEO title.

It doesn't mention Ellison's half-assed attempt to buy Apple was because he wanted to buy Apple in hopes to persuade Steve to come back and rebuild her.

Amelio had no vision. That was clear. He didn't know jack squat about Operating Systems, contrary to his past resume leading one to believe he did.

What he did know was that the technologies at NeXT were extremely robust, flexible and portable. He was sharp in his ability to assess his options. For that the man deserves the credit of listening to our in-house marketing manager who made the original call from NeXT to Apple and spoke with Gil and most importantly, Apple's former CTO who I only met twice during company functions--sharp dressed, highly intelligent and cordial woman who later I believe was CEO of Exodus or something.

The motivations for laying off the LARD at Apple that isn't discussed is the fact that ONE THIRD of Apple employees were up for Sabbatical. Steve canned the program which stoked the flames from folks who were bleeding the company for a paycheck but not actually interested in working with the new direction.

Many quit willingly once the Sabbatical program was canceled. Some folks had 12 weeks of full pay and wrote on the internal company website that the only reason they were still at Apple was to use that Sabbatical and look for another job at the same time.

Too f'in bad.

Most of the layoffs came from redundant jobs and trimming the wasteful spending in several departments.

The IT Department had over 500 employees, cost annually over $49 Million, wrote over 180 applications never sold to the mainstream market and were completely unsuitable for an Enterprise caliber corporate infrastructure that has been slowly moving toward since NeXT merged with Apple.

The Support in Austin was rated some of the worst by the Industry. Apple Support is now rated no 1. Lots of people got cut from that staff. Steve told everyone in Cupertino about his hairraising experience of trying to get support for a box he bought one of his children. It escalated to the point he demanded to speak to the manager in charge. The Manager was annoyed but became quite humble when the voice on the other end said, "This is Steve Jobs...."

That Manager got canned by the way.

Then it was hilarious when Amelio gets payed handsomely to leave, whines about how he saved Apple, goes on a book tour, etc., and to this day probably thinks he saved Apple. A humble man with ethics would have said he helped save Apple. Nope. Not Gil. That man was bleeding Apple any way he could.

I remember when Steve canceled all company personnel flight plans for first class. We all fly coach was his statement. Feel free to flit the bill for first class but it won't be reimbursed.

Steve personally went to several locations to find out what people actually did at Apple. If they didn't fit into the plans they were let go. He made the necessary cuts and as we have seen he has acquired some top talent to help Apple return stronger than before.

I left in 1998 when our Enterprise Team was mismanaged, but as everyone knows the Enterprise focus is just now becoming important once again. I still think the best two places I've worked are NeXT and Apple. The quality of staff is extremely rare. It's very relaxed, and filled with highly talented, skilled and imaginative people.

Beer bashes on fridays were always a nice touch.

Steve settles Lawsuit with M$
by Marc on Thu 18th Nov 2004 04:22 UTC

Do we have to go round with the whole "MS invested 150 Mil and saved Apple" nonsense... AGAIN?

Also that whole Mac needs Office to survive! Given the Mac market I seriously doubt it.

If you don't fathom the need for the $150 Million to help keep the doors open than you never worked at Apple during the merger. I did. We needed the money, bad.

by Ed on Thu 18th Nov 2004 04:43 UTC

"If you don't fathom the need for the $150 Million to help keep the doors open than you never worked at Apple during the merger. I did. We needed the money, bad."


The cash bleed had already been stopped and Apple has several hundred million on hand. The MS investment was more an injection of confidence than a lifeline.

by burns210 on Thu 18th Nov 2004 05:09 UTC

"How does that make it 10 years obsolete though? Go back 10 years from '94 and we're in 1984! The Mac had just been introduced and Windows was a piece of sh!t. So how is it 10 years behind in 1994? "

I wasn't addressing the '10 year' comment. The 10 year comment was unfounded and wrong. I was commenting on how the two operating system were designed for opposite markets, and are now switching roles to focus on the other's native market.

"and lets not forget about the $150 million investment/donation ms made in apple which kept the company afloat."

Apple didn't need the money. They needed the 'support', throught money and development from Microsoft's big name. Apple had money in the bank to burn off, low billions, but more than enough to make $150 million not that big of a deal.

steve jobs
by Andi on Thu 18th Nov 2004 08:24 UTC

i don't like any personality cult... leads to blindness.

Re: MS investment
by SSA on Thu 18th Nov 2004 08:39 UTC

While the $150 Million dollar investment wasn't essential, but the money wasn't as critical as much as that Microsoft agreed to continue to making MS Office if Apple agreed to make MS IE the default on all of their Macs for the next 4 years. Not only did the deal boost investor confidence in the company, but it ensured consumer confidence that MS historically one of the larger software companies for macintosh continued their office suite on Mac. I seem to recall that Wordperfect had already killed development of the Mac version so really without Microsoft the only office software left would be the underpowered Clarisworks. If you think that Clarisworks would have kept Macintosh a viable platform you are deluding yourself.

Might Apple have survived without this Faustian bargain? Maybe, but we will never know for certain.

Personally I can't help but wonder whether Apple made a mistake in prematurely killing the Newton myself. While the PDA market isn't very profitable today, it was still a very good market for most of the 1990s for Palm and really Apple would have owned most of Palm's market during those years had they not handed the PDA market off.

Nice Article
by Miguel on Thu 18th Nov 2004 09:05 UTC

Nice article, nice reading. You make some very good analysis points. Btw I am against ultra-mega-CEOs that are treated like gods that are saving the world. Everybody can be substituted, everybody. A company is a conglomerate of people, know how, infrastructure and so on and not an organisation at the service of one guy.

RE:Correct me if i'm wrong...
by trash80 on Thu 18th Nov 2004 09:13 UTC

well you did ask ;)

7.5.3 wasn't the last release of the 7.x branch, there was 7.5.5, 7.6 and 7.6.1 and there i *think* it stopped

stupid article.
by johnny on Thu 18th Nov 2004 09:43 UTC

First this:

"...he [Amelio] is best known for his tenure as chairman at National Semiconductor, where he was recognized for saving the company."

Then this:

"After Amelio's departure from Apple, there were many stories of mismanagement and incompetence during his leadership at both Apple and National Semiconductor. Though both companies survived his reign as chairman, both companies suffered huge losses that lasted well after his tenure."
Get your story straight.
Reading this was a waste of time. It is a poorly executed article that doesn't know what exactly its message is.
Shame on OSNews for publishing such poor work.

Saving Apple....
by Cymro on Thu 18th Nov 2004 10:21 UTC

I don't believe Jobs saved Apple. In fact I think they would've flourished under Amelio. Apple's losses had been falling and Jobs ousted Amelio in the small window before they made a profit.

They were close the quarter before and that was without the first PowerMac G3s, their most popular product for a long time. 2 quarters earlier the large loss was mainly made up of NeXT purchase.

These profits would have been on the back of a software-based approach. We would have had Mac clones for people who didn't want to pay for looks. With Jobs, the age-old problem continues - "I would buy a Mac but they're expensive". So market share falls and businesses continue to favour an open platform.

Apple would've continued to sell comparatively expensive but desirable Macs alongside the clones. Would they have been as good looking as the iMac? We don't know - if they were looking to differentiate themselves from the clones, maybe Ives would've been given the freedom. 20th anniversary iMac wasn't half bad.

We also saw what happened to the PowerPC when Motorola became dissaffected. One minute they were making Mac clones and the PowerPC was even ahead of x86 in Mhz terms. The next, Apple cancels the clones, Motorola announces 'from now on we'll treat Apple as any other customer'. And the G3 and G4 languish for years.

All this and an open OS X/Rhapsody - and an x86 version - would've grown market share. Again, we don't know whether it would've been as good looking as OS X, but it would have been the same OS. And the users who now use Windows instead would've appreciated that.

I think people are too lost in the beauty of the iMac to realise that Apple were on a good course - one that would've given us some choice in this industry.

by th on Thu 18th Nov 2004 11:03 UTC

"Apple is still a dying company"

that's sort of funny claim to do. they have 4-5 BILLION in bank, and doing 100-300 million PROFITS every quarter. you heard right. and "market share" is measured by sold computers in quarter(s). talk about _installed base_. apple is very alive, doing better than *ever*, making HUGE profits, creating new, GREAT products...

before OS X i didn't really care about apple at all, but when I heard about OS X being BSD based (and saw it in action) i decided to get one for me. and I love it. it will be very unlikely that I will get a single PC machine anymore. of course OS X & Macs have their own problems and annoyances (yes, nothing is perfect) but i've never seen as good products as apple's are, in the pc world. everything just works, has been designer VERY well (just compare ibooks & powerbooks to pc laptops. sigh, how hard it can be to do a decent laptop design?! writing this now from IBM's top business line laptop but I'd choose my iBook for my work computer any time).

by Thomas on Thu 18th Nov 2004 12:20 UTC

Both were statements of others opinions, not my own. Here are the sources that I used that mention Amelio at NatSem:
Like Spindler, Amelio comes with his detractors. A former National executive said, "When [Amelio] came to National he set down rules and imposed them without emotion. He said, 'If you can't do the job to the metrics, I'll find someone else.' "
``GETS WINDED.'' The question now is whether Amelio, 52, will be worth the investment. Having turned around Rockwell Corp.'s communications unit and resuscitated National Semiconductor Corp., he clearly knows how to make an impact. At Apple, he has already nixed the quarterly dividend and moved to squelch takeover rumors.

Over the long haul, though, Amelio's track record is troubling. National Semiconductor's stock has seriously underperformed the S&P since last May, according to Crystal. ``He's Mr. Bell-Shaped Curve,'' Crystal says. ``He's good at the 10-yard dash, but tends to get winded.'' Given Apple's problems, the board had better hope Amelio has developed some stamina.

All my dealings with Apple as well as most of my contacts inside showed me that Apple was a company that had a serious, serious problem. OK, two big ones.

The first being that it was akin a herd of cats, everyone doing his/her own thing, virtually ignoring what management was saying. You could have a CEO that would say something like "this way, follow me!", and virtually everyone would simply ignore him. Litterally. This was compounded by a myriad of empire-building middle-managers and all sorts of "techno-slackers" who only worked on what they wanted when they wanted. Somehow, Steve Jobs was the only one that had the authority, the clout, whatever, to put an end to all of this. That's why one of his first tasks when he came back was to pare (sp?) down the ranks. If you were on the elevator with Steve and could not explain who you were and what you were doing by the time you'd reach your floor, you'd be fired. Steve Jobs has been the first ever Apple CEO that made everyone walk in the same direction, AFAICT.

The other big problem is the fact that Apple management (I'm not sure if that extended way up to the CEO) measured their success just by year-to-year improvements in *their* numbers and did not look at the big picture. "Hey, we're selling half a billion more this year compared to last, we're doing great!" The problem was that the overall market grew even more and their market share dropped. But who cares about market share when you're selling for 10billions$ a year?

At least Jobs is aware of this and has been working hard at improving these numbers. The jury is still out on this one and I guess it will take a few more years before we see the end-result. This is definitively not a short-term strategy.

by AdamW on Thu 18th Nov 2004 16:46 UTC

it hardly matters - the PDA market is a tiny niche. The important market for the future is the high-end cellphone market, where Microsoft is getting trashed.

@Seth and @ OS News
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Nov 2004 17:08 UTC

Seth made the following ABUSE comment:

"At only 1.8 % of the marketshare, Apple is still declining. The only thing that is keeping it alive is the iPod sales and the fact that no one really has a comparable product. As this changes tho,Apple will eventually just finsih dying off."

ANY TIME you hear someone talk of market share as to how it relates to install base... is FUD. This has been explained MANY times before. It was reported (Appropriately mind you) as abuse.

Apple's Install base GREW while its market share went down. This is because the total number of PC shipments grow faster than Apple... which only proces that market share is a totally irrelivant statistic.

It's good to know that OS News regards abuseive comments as acceptable

by Cymro on Thu 18th Nov 2004 17:46 UTC

That's not abuse, it's a point of view, a naive one, that me and you disagree with.

This is abuse: You're an idiot.

An editor for editorials?
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Nov 2004 18:04 UTC

Am I the only one that is distracted by the grammatical and spelling errors in this article? While it's great to have interesting articles show up now and then, the sheer number of errors in this particular one (although, this one is hardly unique in that regard--please understand, I'm not trying to be rude to the author) makes me wonder if the author put as much care into his research as he did into his editing.

Eugenia, if you read this, does the software that osnews run on have any facilities for an editor? If so, perhaps it might be a good idea to put a call out for a volunteer (or volunteers) to edit articles before they get posted.

RE: An editor for editorials?
by ebow on Fri 19th Nov 2004 14:48 UTC

Hear, hear! It was certainly an interesting piece read, but I too was distracted by the partial sentences, incorrect word usage ("by" instead of "buy"), and other little things. A small bit of proof-reading and editing can add a lot of credibility, particularly when something's being submitted as an article (rather than a comment).

Nevertheless, I might just go check out Gil's book for kicks. I'd heard of it before, but had forgotten about it.