"Ow! Nooks & Crannies!" (12/13/99)
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Well, well, well-- the United Kingdom certainly is a hotbed of Apple drama these days, isn't it? First there was all that hubbub about Apple's continuing cancellations of Apple Expo UK. In the midst of that came the controversy over Apple's elimination of the British-localised edition of the Mac OS; beginning with Mac OS 9, those Brits will have to endure Americanizations like improper spelling and a weird new name for the Wastebasket. Well, the strife continues; faithful viewer Grant reports from the English trenches that all is not well with Apple UK's marketing team.

Yes, if The Register can be believed, it sounds like Santa Steve (er, Father Stevemas?) visited Apple's UK marketing division a bit early this year, and he left a lot of pink slips under the tree. Reportedly four people were laid off and "further job cuts" are "in the pipeline." All indications point to the eventual complete elimination of Apple's UK operations, in favor of a centralized "Apple Europe" residing in Paris. (We know that Steve seems to like Paris; while the Apple Expo in the UK keeps getting short shrift, the Paris show gets His Steveness complete with keynote address.)

So is it another anti-Brit volley fired by an increasingly Brit-hostile Steve Jobs, or is it just good business sense? The Register notes Apple's continuing consolidation of its European business in a "new unified, global approach." The UK Apple Store may quote prices in British pounds, but the centralized European Apple Store now takes payment in Euros. Apple's marketing efforts in Europe now all come straight from the U.S. Everything's getting mushed together, and from an efficiency and cost-savings standpoint, it's hard to argue with that strategy. Hopefully the UK won't take the unification of Apple as just another slap in the face. Then again, many Brits aren't fond of the unification of Europe, either, so who can say? Personally, we still suspect this all comes down to some traumatic event in Steve's childhood; a terrible accident involving an English muffin, perhaps?


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/13/99 episode:

December 13, 1999: So much for a real Microsoft innovation-- the IntelliMouse Explorer's real daddy is Hewlett-Packard. Meanwhile, Apple marketing personnel in the UK get pink slips as early Christmas gifts this year, and Apple's stock continues to take a beating (relatively speaking, of course)...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1969: Doubt of the Benefit (12/13/99)   Well, so much for the idea that Microsoft actually came up with something new on its own. Following yesterday's rant about the IntelliMouse Explorer, in which we expressed a certain degree of shock at what appeared to be an "honest-to-goodness example of actual Microsoft innovation," legions of eagle-eyed faithful AtAT viewers wrote in to set us straight...

  • 1971: Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda (12/13/99)   That's it, it's all over; Apple's stock is now doomed. After hitting a high of 118 just a few short days ago, it's closed lower with each successive day and now rests at a lowly 99. At this point we can't imagine why the news wires aren't chock full of reports of Apple investors jumping off ledges left and right...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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