The NeXTonian

Timeline

1985

Steve Jobs leaves Apple and founds NeXT with $7 million of his own money. Further support from the seven co-founders Randy Heffner, Rich Page (Apple engineer), George Crow (Apple exec), Gary Moore, Bud Tribble (head of Mac software at Apple), Dan' L Lewin (Apple exec in educational marketing) and Susan Barnes (head of sales and marketing at Apple).

Steve Jobs visits various US universities in search of new technologies and runs into Avie Tevanian at CMU.

Adobe and NeXT start work on Display PostScript, the basis of the NeXT screen logic.

1986

Work on the NeXTcube and the NeXTSTEP operating system.

1987

Ross Perot invests $20 million in NeXT for a 16% control. With another $5 million from Steve Jobs that brings the net worth of NeXT up to $126 million.

Steve Jobs uses the Perot funding to build a factory capable of building 150,000 units per annum. (All told only 50,000 will make it out the door.)

Steve Jobs invites Jean-Marie Hullot, author of SOS Interface, to Redwood City to demonstrate his program. Jobs buys the rights to the program and takes on Hullot who goes on to create Interface Builder.

1988

'It's great to be back!' Steve Jobs tells a captive audience in San Francisco on 12 October 1988, and unveils the NeXTcube. The 45-minute demonstration ends with a standing ovation.

The NeXTcube runs with a magneto-optical disc of 256 MB, a Motorola 68030 processor, and NeXTSTEP 0.8.

IBM option $60 million to put NeXTSTEP on their own computer hardware.

1989

NeXTSTEP 1.0 is released in June 1989 to software developers and US universities.

NeXTcubes are enhanced with a 40 MB hard drive to speed up virtual memory.

Gun Inc invests $100 million for distribution rights outside the US.

1990

IBM cancel their NeXTSTEP option.

Steve Jobs makes the first official presentation of the NeXTcube and the NeXTstation, along with NeXTSTEP 2.0, on 18 September. Both computers now use the Motorola 68040 processor, and the colour screen version of the NeXTstation displays 4,096 colours simultaneously - 'near-photographic quality'.

A hard drive is now standard; the magneto-optical disc is now optional.

Six days later on 24 September, Theo Wegbrans, chairman of NeXT Europe, presents the new machines for a European audience, and the British subsidiary is founded on 2 October.

Theo Wegbrans organises another demonstration on 22 November with NeXT engineers Jean-Marie Hullot and Brian Yamamoto.

NeXT France is founded on 10 December. Chairman is Jean-Jacques Maucuer.

Tim Berners-Lee of CERN develops the World Wide Web on a NeXTcube.

1991

Gun Inc and Steve Jobs each invest an additional $10 million.

NeXTstation Color ships on 12 March.

Steve Jobs attends the CNIT expo in Paris on 25 April to announce sale of NeXT computers in that country, now with NeXTSTEP 2.1. The new OS is equipped with the SoftPC emulator; Jobs demonstrates this with a run of Lotus 123 and Improv. He also runs the Star Wars movie in a window on screen.

1992

Canon invest $55 million; Steve Jobs invests an additional $10 million.

NeXTSTEP 3.0 is released in September.

1993

NeXTSTEP 3.1 is released on 25 May at the NeXTWORLD Expo. Also released is NEXTSTEP 486, a port to x86 (Intel 486) architecture.

Steve Jobs presents the NeXT products at UnixWorld.

Object Enterprise for Hewlett Packard computers ships in May.

NeXTSTEP 3.2 is released in October.

NeXT Computer Inc officially change name to NeXT Software Inc. Factory and factory staff are sold to Canon.

On 23 November, Sun Microsystems announce they will run NeXTSTEP on Solaris and invest $10 million in NeXT, and NeXT announce the Sparc port of NeXTSTEP.

1994

NeXT publish the OpenStep specification on 30 June. Work begins simultaneously on GNUstep.

EOF ships on 12 August.

NeXTSTEP 3.2 and Portable Distributed Objects for HP Pa-RISC computers ship on 8 September.

1995

NeXT announce their financial results for 1994 on 21 February: $50 million in revenues; a net profit of $1 million.

NeXTSTEP 3.3 ships in February. NeXTSTEP 3.3 for Sparc ships in March.

NeXT acquire the Objective-C copyright from Stepstone in April.

NetInfo and Portable Distributed Objects 2.0 ship in April.

1996

NeXT announce Distributed OLE 3.5, EOF 1.1, and WebObjects on 30 January.

Apple buy NeXT for $429 million on 20 December.



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