After Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple in 1985, everyone wanted to know what Steve would do next.... so NeXT was what he did.
In 1988 his NeXT team launched a new kind of computer for it's time, built on standards with a Unix core but with a user experience "my grandma could understand". It was well ahead of it's time, so naturally, it was not embraced by main stream consumers... a classic "Crossing the Chasm" issue. But many saw it for what it was, a breakthrough product as innovative as today's iTunes, iPod and iPhone.
Building upon NeXT's hardware and more importantly, their software development environment, many third party NeXT developers added their own magic dust to create revolutionary products, like the world's first web browser, or a new form of spread sheet, Lotus Improv or WebObjects, the foundation upon which the iTune store is built, to name only a few. Some of these ground breaking products may never be repeated. Most contained innovations embraced by future applications, with a clear lineage back to NeXTSTEP.
During the relatively short time of NeXT ascendency (1985-1996), Apple was bleeding red ink from repeated financial losses and two hugely expensive attempts to create a follow on Operating System. Apple's third president since Steve's departure, Gil Amelio saw the merits of Steve, his team and their technology. In December 1996 Apple bought Next. Then the Next team took over Apple. The result is their hugely successful Mac OS X, built on the foundations of the NeXTSTEP OS.
While NeXT is no more, as a product or a stand alone company, it's impact on the industry will be felt for years to come. We should remember it, perhaps even study it. In decades to come, it will be understood as a watershed of innovation. Current Mac and iPhone users will be astonished to see how many of their beloved Mac OS X innovations had their roots in NeXTSTEP. There are many lessons about product innovation, market acceptance, and the creative people involved, that have yet to be uncovered.
This web site details part of our unique collection of NeXT related products and assorted items which grew up around NeXT Computer ecosystem, including of course NeXT hardware but also those rare items such as dealer sales kits, logo'd clothing, NeXT jewelry, banners, training tapes for servicing NeXT computers and printers, developer guides, plus third party software and hardware products.
While the site describes only part of the actual collection, the site does cover over 800 NeXT and third party products, many with multipage brochures and white papers. If you were to print all the html and PDF documents it would be over 3,000 pages.
This site describes what may well be the most extensive NeXT related collection available today.
It's history worth preserving.