Education Goes Boom (11/25/02)

There's some pretty unsettling news floating around out there, folks, and we're not talking about the fact that Larry "Zero Shares" Ellison was on Apple's board of directors for five whole years and waited until after he left to finally pick up some stock, as Reuters is reporting. Nor are we referring to Apple's new "Jingle Bells and Whistles" promo, which brings an eMac with a G4 processor, a 17-inch CRT, and a combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive down to $999, while a classic iMac with a G3, a 15-inch CRT, and a plain vanilla CD-ROM drive still costs $799-- thus creating a price/performance disparity so vast that the very fabric of reality is in danger of being torn asunder. Seriously, it's not that, either. Although you might want to stock up on canned goods.

No, we're talking about a report-- an as-yet completely unsubstantiated report, mind you-- of a "massive reorganization effort" underway at Apple. While reorganization in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing, we're hearing troubling things about Apple perhaps having just laid off hundreds of employees last week-- maybe even close to a thousand. Yes, a thousand. Now, we want to mention right off the bat that we're maintaining a nice, healthy skepticism about this rumor, mostly due to logistical reasons. Basically, we don't care how scary Steve Jobs is (well, okay, yes we do... sir!): if a thousand people get the shaft, then at least some of them are going to march straight off to the press and start blabbing about it. (What's Apple going to do-- fire them?) And yet we're hearing that these alleged layoffs took place last week, but we see absolutely zilch about any job cuts at any of the "respectable" news sites. So most likely we're just hallucinating again.

That said, though, the report we hallucinated indicated that the heaviest concentration of alleged layoffs took place in Apple's education division-- and we heard something else about Jim Marshall leaving in rather a hurry. Last we heard, Jim Marshall was heading up the education sales team, though that was maybe six months ago. And just to make this Big Ball of Uncertainty and Ickiness just a leetle bit bigger, take a gander at Think Secret's latest report on Apple's PowerSchool division canceling projects left and right like it's the hottest new dance craze. We can't help feeling that all this spells something Not Entirely Nice™ for the future of Apple's prospects in the education market. But for now, we're just going to sit tight and see if anything real actually comes of any of this...

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The above scene was taken from the 11/25/02 episode:

November 25, 2002: Yes, the AtAT staff knows the difference between "AMD" and "Amd." Meanwhile, rumors of significant layoffs in Apple's education division coincide with reports that the company's PowerSchool division is axing projects, and some guy in London suffered a laptop-related injury of a decidedly personal nature...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3859: Acronyms Can Be Fun (11/25/02)   And the winner for Most Unnecessary Corrections Ever Generated by a Single AtAT Scene is (drum roll, please): "Is This A Flaying Offense?," last Friday's lighthearted romp suggesting that Apple's listing of "Amd support" in Mac OS X 10.2 constituted irrefutable evidence that x86-based Macs running AMD's processors are due on store shelves by Christmas!...

  • 3861: Ahhhhh, Sweeps Month (11/25/02)   Hmmm, now this is a slightly sticky situation. See, this here is a family show, and as such, there are certain subjects that we generally don't allow on the air during our time slot. Unfortunately, we've gotten so many requests to work this one particular angle into our plotline, we're compelled by state law to comply-- and this story has certain elements that are, shall we say, "unsuitable" for our younger and more sensitive viewers...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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