NeXT Inc., later NeXT Computer, Inc. and NeXT Software, Inc., was an American computer company founded by Steve Jobs in 1985 after he left Apple Computer. Jobs filed incorporation papers for NeXT on September 16, 1985, the same day he formally resigned from Apple.
The company produced a series of workstations aimed at the higher education and business markets; they ran NeXTSTEP, an advanced, UNIX-based, object-oriented operating system. Although their technology was very innovative for the time, high prices and little software available led to very poor sales.
NeXT machines were used to develop CERN's WorldWideWeb (the first web browser), and id Software's hit games Doom, Doom II, and Quake.
On December 20, 1996, Apple Computer announced that it would acquire NeXT. Apple's goal was to use NeXT's software technology as the basis of a "modern Mac OS" after the Copland project had failed to do so. The acquisition was completed on February 7, 1997 for $429 million to the original investors and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock to Steve Jobs.
OpenStep, the open source descendent of NeXTSTEP, was then combined with components from FreeBSD to create first the Rhapsody environment, and then the Darwin / Aqua / Cocoa architecture was introduced into Mac OS X Server, and later Mac OS X client.
The NeXT board of directors included:
The entire senior executive team took top management positions at Apple Computer after the acquisition of NeXT was completed in 1997:
A number of key employees from Apple followed Jobs to NeXT in 1985:
- Susan Barnes
- Bruce Blumberg
- Tom Carlisle
- George Crow
- Joanna Hoffman
- Susan Kare
- Dan'l Lewin
- Rich Page
- Lynn Takahashi Franklin
- Bud Tribble
- Sept. 16, 1985: Jobs Quits Apple; Sept. 16, 1997: Jobs Rejoins Apple by Leander Kahney, Wired. 2010-09-16.
- Apple Computer, Inc. Agrees to Acquire NeXT Software Inc.. Apple Computer (1996-12-20). Archived from the original on 2002-02-08.
- Apple Computer, Inc. Finalizes Acquisition of NeXT Software Inc., Apple Computer. 1997-02-07. Archived 1999-01-17.
- NeXT official site (archived 1997-04-12)
- Apple Computer and NeXT Software Merger (archived 1997-04-12)
- The Best of NeXT Collection by Kevin Ford
- The NeXT Computer Historical Site by Simson Garfinkel
- NeXT Computer at Low End Mac
- NeXT Computers at Microcomputer.org.uk
- The NeXTonian at Rixstep
- NeXT at the Adobe Wiki
- NeXT at the Apple Wiki
- NeXT at Wikipedia
- NeXT: Steve Jobs' dot com IPO that never happened by Hansen Hsu at the Computer History Museum (2017-02-07)