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Everything is going to be okay with Jobs, Apple executives' reassurances seem to suggest

Apparently even when off the job, Apple's divisive, but brilliant leader Steve Jobs is still on the job.  At a one hour annual shareholder meeting held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, executives said that while Jobs was away, he still was putting in a great deal of work directing the company behind the scenes.  They said that he was deeply involved in their decision making process.

Steve Jobs, who founded Apple and guided it through its two most successful spans -- the Apple II/Mac era and then the iProduct era -- had been the subject of wild rumors last year, when he appeared gaunt and sickly at public appearances.  He initially brushed off the concerns, eventually breaking his silence this January to say he had hormonal problems, which he was receiving treatment for.  However, later in January he announced that he was taking a leave of absence until June, citing that his medical issues were "more complex" than previously expected.

The news launched wild speculation, as Jobs was diagnosed in 2004 with a rare kind of pancreatic cancer, which he received treatment for and apparently had fully recovered from.  Many wonder -- and still do -- whether Apple could continue its recent successes without Jobs' guiding hand.

However, Apple's top executives went on record at the meeting to state that "nothing has changed" with Jobs' health.  They also declined address recent allegations that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company's disclosures of Jobs' health problems for possible misconduct.

Even if Apple's executives don't find themselves in trouble with the SEC, if Jobs' health deteriorates the company may find itself with a slew of lawsuits from shareholders over its disclosures, according to legal experts.  Apple is in a tricky position as medical disclosures are a gray area of the law, so shareholders could sue if Apple declared too much (potentially causing Apple stock to plunge) or too little (causing shareholders to retain stocks for lack of information).

Apple's shareholders weren't just worried about Jobs, though.  They were also concerned about how the company plans to stay competitive in the currently bleak economy with expensive notebooks and iPods, which some say are overpriced.  Apple's leadership deflected most of these questions as well, avoiding the issue of slumping computer sales and pointing to successes like the iPhone.

Despite the doom and gloom mood at the meeting, the shareholders did perk up a bit when one of the executives suggested they all sing happy birthday to Steve Jobs, who turned 54 on Tuesday.  While they didn't get to see their leader, the song seemed to take shareholders minds off Apple's pressing problems, if only for a moment.

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RE: Microsoft should be relieved to hear this.
By omnizero on 2/26/2009 9:22:43 AM , Rating: 5
not when it is compared to Mac gaming.

By TheFace on 2/26/2009 9:27:32 AM , Rating: 4

RE: Microsoft should be relieved to hear this.
By reader1 on 2/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft should be relieved to hear this.
By Motoman on 2/26/2009 10:15:46 AM , Rating: 3
...other than the fact that I know an assload of people who relentlessly play PC games and don't own an XBox 360...

WTF? Clearly, it would be in MS's interest to "kill" PC gaming, right? Huh? What? Asphinctersayswhat?

By borismkv on 2/26/2009 1:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh...I think you just called yourself a sphincter with that...

By Pirks on 2/26/2009 2:09:30 PM , Rating: 1
I know an assload of people who relentlessly play PC games and don't own an XBox 360
There's a reason for that, and the name for this reason starts with "t". Also these people are called with a word starting with "p". Actually they are the main reason why big-budget PC gaming is declining and yeilding to consoles. I've been like them but now I'm buying everything on Steam. It's too late though.
it would be in MS's interest to "kill" PC gaming, right?
Maybe. Having lots of PC gamers changes nothing for MS since PC is already having 90+% of the market, but when they duke it out with Sony they need every single gamer to move to their red-ringed console. So they are indifferent to PC gaming and very passionate about consoles 'cause this is where the big battle is raging on. Why bother about PCs if there's nothing to milk in there? PC gamers won't buy Vista, hence they are not interesting market for MS. Consoles? MUCH more interesting area of a HUGE potential future income 'cause if they succeed they can sell the whole new set of digital multimedia devices in this emerging market, and then tie those to services Apple-way and bingo, another big cash cow for them. Most PC gamers are not very intelligent and can't see that, unfortunately. Read on some economics and financial news, that should help.

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