NeXT Computer

The NeXT Computer (also called the NeXT Computer System) is a workstation computer developed, marketed, and sold by NeXT Inc., a company founded by Steve Jobs and several other veterans of the Macintosh and Lisa teams, from 1988 until 1990. It runs the Mach- and BSD-derived, Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, with a proprietary GUI using a Display PostScript-based back end. The motherboard is square and fits into one of four identical slots in the enclosure. The NeXT Computer enclosure consists of a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped, black case, which led to the machine being informally referred to as "The Cube". It launched at US$6,500.

 

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The NeXT Computer was succeeded by the NeXTcube, an upgraded model, in 1990.

Reception

The NeXT Computer was not a great commercial success at the level of high volume personal computers such as the Apple II, the Macintosh, or Microsoft Windows PCs. The workstations were sold to universities, financial institutions, and government agencies.

 

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Launch

The NeXT Computer was revealed at a lavish, invitation only, gala launch event "NeXT Introduction - the Introduction to the NeXT Generation of Computers for Education" at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, California on Wednesday October 12 1988. The following day, selected educators and software developers were invited (for $100 registration fee) to attend the first public technical overview of the NeXT computer at an event called "The NeXT Day" held at the San Francisco Hilton. This event gave developers interested in developing NeXT software an insight into the software architecture, object-oriented programming, and developing for the NeXT Computer. The luncheon speaker was Steven P. Jobs.

 

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Legacy

A NeXT Computer and its object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN to develop the world's first web server software, CERN HTTPd, and also used to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb.

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