Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs’ NeXT quits making computers

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The NeXT Computer was great. It also didn't sell.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

Feb9February 9, 1993: NeXT Computers, the company Steve Jobs founded after being pushed out of Apple, quits making computers. The company changes its name to NeXT Software and focuses its efforts entirely on building software for other platforms.

In a mass layoff, 330 of NeXT’s 500 employees are made redundant in an event known internally as “Black Tuesday.” Cruelly, many people hear of their fate only after it is reported on the radio.

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Today in Apple history: Apple brings back Jobs with NeXT buyout

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Steve Jobs pictured on December 20, 1996.
Photo: Tim Holmes/Flickr CC

Dec20December 20, 1996: Apple Computer officially buys NeXT, the computer company Steve Jobs founded after leaving Apple a decade earlier.

The deal costs Apple $429 million, a massive price to pay for the failing NeXT which has already seen its hardware division crash and burn.

The price is worth it when you consider what Apple gets as part of the deal, however: the return of Steve Jobs.

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Today in Apple history: The seeds of OS X are sown

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Look familiar?
Photo: The Color Convergence

Nov25November 25, 1996: Garrett L. Rice, a mid-level manager at NeXT, contacts Apple chief technology officer Ellen Hancock about the possibility of Apple licensing NeXT’s OpenStep operating system.

It’s the first formal step in a process that ultimately ends in Apple buying NeXT, the creation of OS X, and Steve Jobs returning home to the company he co-founded.

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Today in Apple history: World prepares for the NeXT Computer

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People wanted to know what Jobs' next move was.
Photo: NewsWeek

oct24October 24, 1988: Three years after leaving Apple, 33-year-old Steve Jobs prepares to launch the NeXT Computer, a machine he hopes will cement his reputation as a tech genius and blow away the computers being released by his former company.

Newseek and Time published dueling articles on the same day, whipping back the covers on what Jobs had been working on — and hinting at what was coming NeXT next.

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Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs prepares to take on Apple

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1985 was a major turning point in Jobs' life.
Photo: ABC

Sept2September 2, 1985: Reports claim that Steve Jobs is on the verge of setting up his own company to compete with Apple, after a flurry of sales of Jobs’ AAPL stock holdings, totaling $21.43 million.

For anyone who thinks speculation about Apple’s future is an invention of the blog age, today’s “Today in Apple history” is a reminder that the tech rumor mill was alive and well in 1985.

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Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs talks to Rolling Stone

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Steve Jobs during the NeXT years.
Steve Jobs during the NeXT years.
Photo: Doug Menuez/Fearless Genius

thursday16 There was, to put it mildly, a lot that was insanely great about Steve Jobs’ return to Apple. But one thing that always struck me as less than good from an Apple fan’s perspective was that he stopped giving revealing in-depth interviews.

As his ability to command the narrative increased, Apple’s CEO understandably shifted away from playing the media hound he’d been for the first part of his career, where he’d speak with often painful honesty to seemingly any magazine that would have him. One of his last such interviews? The one that appeared in the June 16, 1994, edition of Rolling Stone.

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Apple officially makes one of Steve Jobs’ favorite projects obsolete

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WebObjects came to Apple when Steve Jobs returned from NeXT.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

Twenty years after it was first released to the public, Apple has finally confirmed that its WebObjects Java-based web application framework is dead — at least as far as official Apple updates are concerned.

Never heard of WebObjects? You’re probably not alone, but back in the 1990s it was considered a breakthrough product, was one that Steve Jobs was incredibly high on, and officially came over to Apple as part of the historic deal to acquire Jobs’ former company NeXT. Even today, aspects of WebObjects are used to power its online Apple Store and iTunes Store.

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Steve Jobs’s smelly old sandals just sold at auction

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These stinky old Birkenstocks from Steve Jobs's NeXT years sold for a pretty price at auction today.
These stinky old Birkenstocks from Steve Jobs's NeXT years sold for a pretty price at auction today.
Photo: Mark Scheff

An odd assortment of purported artefacts from Steve Jobs’s wilderness years – including a pair of his smelly old sandals – were sold at auction today. And while it’s not entirely clear who bought them, all of the disparate items, dating back to Steve Jobs’s NeXT years, still ended up earning a pretty penny.

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Long-lost video shows Steve Jobs launching his biggest failure

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Steve Jobs during the NeXT years.
Steve Jobs during the NeXT years.
Photo: Doug Menuez

Only a handful of products Steve Jobs introduced to the world became flops, but three years after he was kicked out of Apple, the tech visionary unveiled his biggest failure ever: the NeXT computer.

Video footage of Jobs’ first major public appearance since he left Apple in 1985 was lost to the world until researchers for Aaron Sorkin’s movie came across two videotapes of the NeXT’s gala unveiling at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall in 1988.

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Pinterest hires former Apple designer Susan Kare

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Early Apple designer Susan Kare.
Early Apple designer Susan Kare.
Photo: Photo: Ann Rhoney

As part of the original Macintosh team back in the 80s, Susan Kare created some of Apple’s earliest typefaces and icons, but now the famous designer is ready to bring her iconic skills to Pinterest, as the company’s newest design lead.

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