Home > Mac OS X > A Brief History Of NeXT A Brief History Of NeXT Thom Holwerda 2005-07-05 Mac OS X 30 Comments Steve Jobs left Apple in 1985, founded NeXT, developed a powerful object oriented operating system, and saw it become Apple’s modern OS. That’s the short version. The long version can be found here. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 30 Comments 2005-07-05 10:43 pm Indicates some time-traveling! “Apple acquired NeXT in December 1987, and Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a dozen years away.” 2005-07-05 10:49 pm Long live NeXT !! *cuddles his Turbo NeXTStation* 2005-07-05 10:55 pm i recall NeXT used the apple lawsuit settlement in some of their advertising, since they were required to make computers that were far superior to macs. 2005-07-05 11:10 pm It was interesting to read how the lawsuit seemed to be the primary reason why NeXT hardware was so costly. And Sun’s loss of enthusiasm for OpenSTEP seems very typical. Seems like Sun is good at enthusiastically going into partnerships, but most of the time, nothing ever comes from it. I mean, how many tech companies has Sun gobbled up for billions of dollars in the last decade, only to see that tech disappear from the face of the earth? Ah, well. The NeXT story can be best summed up as “all’s well that ends well.” You couldn’t make this stuff up. 2005-07-05 11:47 pm After reading for 15 seconds -> Unfortunately for Jobs, the CEO he had recruited, John Sculley, was not happy with the risks Jobs was willing to take. After a short power struggle that left Sculley in control of Apple, Jobs left the company in 1985. – wasn’t Jobs “asked to leave”? Heh, Jobs sold all his Apple shares after this and if he souldn’t be such a <insert remark> he would have been a very rich man today. 2005-07-06 12:19 am I’m sure Steve Jobs is doing quite OK from the financial standpoint 2005-07-06 12:35 am N/T 2005-07-06 12:50 am NeXTSTEP was years ahead of it’s time. Ten years after they debuted in NeXTSTEP, Outlook and other Microsoft apps finally got the same fundamental features that NeXTSTEP had, like total drag-and-drop (into email, docs, etc.), performance (what those systems did on a 68040 running at 25 or 33 MHz was insane), graphics, etc. And Jobs is plenty, plenty rich. He’s a billionarre several times over, a lot of that thanks to Pixar. 2005-07-06 1:14 am It’s a curious question, because I’ve considered the fact that Jobs basically bought Apple with $400M dollars of Apple’s money the best stealth take over in corporate history. Apple pays Jobs, Jobs moves in to Apple, bringing the tech team from NeXT. Jobs basically gets his second chance to build his fantasy computer. His “First computer to fail” becomes the latest to succeed. Because that’s essentially what has happened. The technology that NeXT developed combined with the consumer friendliness of Apple. Obviously it’s a combination of Apple and NeXT engineers. Perhaps it’s just the planets aligning in one spot to shine on the new Apple, but being a NeXT fan, I see more NeXT in this iBook than Apple. 2005-07-06 1:46 am I would say: “How much Steve’s is left. There is “always” a great-thinking team behind him (Wozniak, Teviatan, Ive, the man at Pixar) but the glue to success is always the same ol’ man. Or do you want to call back Sculley? 2005-07-06 2:34 am Jobs barely got lucky after Next. he was down to single digit millions. he pumped a lot into NExt. He might have been forced into living into the 2-5 million dollar houses in the valley:) 2005-07-06 2:36 am Yeah, there’s way more NeXT than Apple in the current offerings. I remember running Rhapsody, the bridge between NeXTSTEP and Mac OS X. It was basically NeXTSTEP ported to PowerPC with some (but not all) of the Blackbox-style windows made to look like the copeland-style windows. NeXT’s file explorer, mail app, everything else was definately NeXT, and largely is today. Aqua is a continuation of the same effort, but based almost entirely on NeXTSTEP. 2005-07-06 2:37 am That’s fact. Steve Jobs never slang a line of assembly in his life. He couldn’t. Bill Gates was known as a master of squeezing another byte out of a program. Bill Gates is a programmer. Steve Jobs never programmed a computer in his entire life. That is fact. 2005-07-06 2:46 am “Steve Jobs and the Next Big Thing by Randall E. Stross” 2005-07-06 2:47 am Jobs never was a programmer nor did anyone (including himself) ever make him out to be one. He was a visionary, he knew what he wanted out of technology and by force of will he made it happen (although in the early years, he left a wake of animosity towards him because of his rude and sometimes childish ways). Jobs got the parts from the suppliers, negotiated his way through a non-startup-friendly Silicon Valley, bought a money-losing graphics company from Lucas (which became Pixar), and used a phone book as the model for the footprint of the Mac. Woz is a way better programmer than Gates anyway. He single handidly solved the floppy disk issue, making them cheap to make and easy to write for. He built breakout for Atari using only 38 ICs (they were shooting for around 50). He came up with other ingenious workarounds to sqeeze more power, colors, performance out of the early boards. When IBM needed an operating system for their new PCs, what did Gates do? Write one? No, he licensed one. 2005-07-06 3:01 am Gates may have been a programmer once, but that was a long, long time ago. I doubt he knows any modern languages, and if he does, I seriously doubt if he writes anything. He’s a businessman these days, and apparently quite successful. (As an aside, coding is almost irrelevant these days. The world’s best coders are faceless people, unknowns cranking out code for corporations or for F/OSS. They are almost guaranteed to never be rich or famous, and will most likely see their work outsourced. Coding is no longer a prestige job. Sad, but that seems to be true.) Jobs is not a coder, and never has been. That doesn’t mean he knows nothing of technology. He shows every sign as being the most technologically competant CEO in any company. That hasn’t always worked out well for him, but he knows tech inside out, and that helps him push the engineers *very* hard. Wozniak is a hardware guy. I’m not sure if he ever wrote a line of code (probably for the Apple I), but he designed some brilliant circuits in his time. These days… he doesn’t seem to be very successful at anything. He has the good wishes of just about everyone in technology from those days. Of the three, Jobs is the most relevant today. Gates is no longer CEO, and has famously missed the boat on several key technologies (Internet and searching, to name two). He is a key player, but has no idea of the future. His books prove this, and his revisionism is unbelievable at best. Jobs has an idea of the future and seems to know what must be done to get there. His future may not turn out to be reality, but he’s giving it a damn good try. 2005-07-06 3:05 am When IBM needed an operating system for their new PCs, what did Gates do? Write one? No, he licensed one. Bought one. They did originally screw around with a license, but bought everything outright just before the PC was released. Smartest move Microsoft ever made. 2005-07-06 3:13 am it seems pretty clear next and steve jobs would have went bankrupted. 2005-07-06 3:33 am “Wozniak is a hardware guy. I’m not sure if he ever wrote a line of code (probably for the Apple I), but he designed some brilliant circuits in his time. These days… he doesn’t seem to be very successful at anything. He has the good wishes of just about everyone in technology from those days. ” From “Revolution in the valley” “The Apple II included a BASIC interpreter known as Integer BASIC that Steve Wozniak wrote from scratch.” 2005-07-06 4:07 am If Apple bought Be, NeXT would have just converted to selling it’s other popular offering, WebObjects. And if NeXT folded, no biggie to Steve. He still had Pixar, which went on to make billions. 2005-07-06 5:37 am This article and WindowMaker 0.92.0, all in the same day. What more could a self-respecting GNUStep user want? 2005-07-06 5:43 am Where the fuck is the mention of the Father of the NeXTSTEP UI? If you can’t mention Keith Ohlfs I dare say you never worked at NeXT. The entire UI of NeXTSTEP is Keith’s baby and he left in 1992 with one major legacy. So by the time the deal between SUN and us and NeXT went sour, Keith was already at Pacific Data Images and then by 1996 when Openstep arrived on the scene he was creating WebTV. We tried to get Keith back for OS X, after the Apple merger but the stock options he had, after Microsoft bought WebTV and buried the product, were huge; so huge that Apple wasn’t about to match them. Please update the article and draw from at least some of Keith’s Site: Not Pixelsight.com because he has that down for remodel–whatever that really means–but from Olhfs.com http://www.ohlfs.com Check out his project and resume. For the lazy who want to know about his NeXT work: http://www.ohlfs.com/keith/self/next/next.html 2005-07-06 9:14 am Why would the article single out the UI guy? Did it single out the filesystem guy(s) or the kernel guy(s)? Next was a whole lot more than the UI. 2005-07-06 11:16 am As to Jobs not writing a line of code: What about Breakout? Now here comes all the comments that Woz actually wrote Breakout for Jobs who stole the credit (and the money). 2005-07-06 3:29 pm “Jobs is not a coder, and never has been. That doesn’t mean he knows nothing of technology. He shows every sign as being the most technologically competant CEO in any company” Agreed. Jobs knows how to make a product exciting. Take the iPod: what’s “exciting” about and MP3 player? or new, for that matter? Nothing. But give it a super-stylish box, a big capacity, a ready downloading service, fast uploading (Firewire/ USB2), and super-hip marketing– and you’ve taken elements already in the market and put them in a winning package. The original Mac did most of the same stuff as the existing DOS boxes. And, sure Xerox had this GUI thing they were probably thinking about putting in copy machines. But bring computing and point-and-click together– that’s something. I need my toys to excite me. Having them merely work isn’t adequate; they have to work without annoying me, like my XP box at my office does. 2005-07-06 4:46 pm Gates may have been a programmer once, but that was a long, long time ago. I doubt he knows any modern languages, and if he does, I seriously doubt if he writes anything. He’s a businessman these days, and apparently quite successful. He’s chief development and codes fulltime. Ballmore is doing the business. No I am not a Microsoft fan [use FreeBSD on all my boxes] but you’re telling bullsh*t. 2005-07-06 6:23 pm Jobs didn’t do breakout. He negotiated the deal. He worked at Atari (they let him be a dirty hippie and work at night) wiring/soldering boards (he was taught by Woz, but he didn’t know how to design), and made a deal to make breakout. For every IC less than 50 for the breakout board he would get a bonus. He took the task to Woz, who did it in 38 ICs. Jobs split the payment with Woz. 2005-07-06 8:15 pm It was, it is the best and the most original UI ever made, and OS X owes it a lot. Not enough IMHO. And yes, NeXT was more than the UI, but what UI ! 2005-07-06 8:51 pm and thanks to the miracle of eBay I’m now the proud owner of a fully loaded Turbo Dimension Cube running OpenStep 4.2. 2005-07-06 10:40 pm The entire UI paradigm coordinates seemless with ObjC and the prior Foundation and AppKit APIs, as well as EOF and WOF. Mac OS X’s current UI does not improve upon NeXTSTEP. It is a compromise between the old Apple UI and NeXTSTEP.