Apple set to implement fix-it plan

A widely circulated, unofficial memo from within Apple may offer a snapshot of the key issues chairman Gilbert Amelio is likely to address when he reveals his fix-it plan on May 15.

The memo was written by an employee who took part in an informal discussion group with Amelio, who contended that Apple's problems were fixable.

Among the issues the chairman touched upon was the notion that Apple can no longer compete on price, so it needs to charge a premium for its systems.

Other issues raised in the memo included the following:

The need for a standard interface between the Mac OS and the motherboard to make it easier for Apple to update and maintain the operating system. Currently, the Mac OS is estimated to have more than 100,000 unique configurations to support a wide variety of exotic application specific integrated circuits and chip form factors.

A desire to keep the Newton development in-house and give it more support.

An Apple spokeswoman says Amelio's comments should be taken as informal and not interpreted as an Apple policy statement.

One bright spot on Apple's horizon may be Copland, the next generation of Apple's Macintosh operating system. Originally slated to ship by mid-year but now due out by year's end, Copland is expected to help boost Macintosh sales.

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