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UK users prepare anti-Apple protest action

And warn Steve Jobs in advance.... ahem

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A band of Brit Mac users is planning to disrupt Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Apple Expo Paris next week, according to an email from the group mailed to just about every Mac news site on the planet.

Well, bang goes any chance of making your protest, guys. The important thing to remember next time - if there is a next time - is to keep the plan secret until you go into action. You know, give the 'enemy' as little warning as possible?

Apple spin paramedics are unlikely to be too flustered by the prospect of what they'll see as a bunch of hecklers, but security will probably be increased just in case.

The group's "peaceful protest" is designed to make Apple aware of how British Mac users feel about the cancellation of the British English version of the Mac OS and the Mac maker's decision to pull out of a UK Mac show in favour of Apple Expo Paris.

They also want to highlight "Apple's growing arrogance and its failure to recognise the loyalty of its most loyal users, who stuck by the company through the dark years. Apple needs to realise it is in a unique position within the computer market, in as much as it has fans as well as customers. Apple needs to adapt the way it deals with these people and find some other way of dealing with them other than sending in the lawyers".

The last point is a reference to Apple's vigorous legal browbeating of Mac news sites who dare to publish information on as yet unlaunched Apple products. Apple has also targeted such sites' sources, particularly those who are its employees.

"The nature of the protest will be peaceful, no throwing of rotten apples here," said the email. "The intention is to interrupt Steve's keynote with a speech outlining our grievances, the speech would be split between as many people as possible so that if one person is ejected another can continue the speech, thus delivering the speech in its entirety."

Jobs is due to go on stage next week on 13 September at 10am CET. The truly cynical might wonder if the whole thing isn't a clever ruse to get more reporters and visitors to the show on the off-chance that something really juicy takes place.

Attendees are hoping for the launch of new Mac kit, in particularly updates to Apple's iBook and PowerBook laptop lines.

Jobs may also announce the immediate availability of MacOS X's public beta test version, though given Apple sources' claims that the release is likely to be fairly low key, a full blown 'it's out there now, and here's the CD' announcement seems improbable. ®

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