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Ex-Apple UK boss sees no change out of Next buy

A former Apple UK chief last night blasted the purchase of Next Software and painted a bleak picture of the company's future. Mike Newton, a former Apple VP for the UK, Eire and South Africa, who left the company a year ago and is currently UK managing director at Dell, described the move as an "irrelevance".

A former Apple UK chief last night blasted the purchase of Next Software and painted a bleak picture of the company's future. Mike Newton, a former Apple VP for the UK, Eire and South Africa, who left the company a year ago and is currently UK managing director at Dell, described the move as an "irrelevance".

"The MacOS is not [fully] ported to the PowerPC and doesn't run on Pentium, and I don't see how the acquisition of Next changes that," Newton said.

"There's the core of a new OS but there are two key problems. Old Apple users are going to say 'how do I get [to the new MacOS] and what does this mean for my applications?' The other thing is, Apple says this gives them access to corporates [but] Apple should be seeing how they can shore up the publishing and education markets."

Newton said that the Next buy would do nothing to protect aginst withering interest in Macintosh among UK blue chips. "For corporates, this, sadly, is an irrelevance. Who is basing their core business on Apple? I'm not sure Unix is in the ascendancy and I'm not aware of Next Step being marketed very aggressively in the UK. Apple's problem is that they are not part of the 97 per cent of the rest of the world. They need to downsize the infrastructure of their business but at some point they're going to need to grow."