After being asked to leave Apple during the reign of John Scully, Steve Jobs went on to create the NeXT Step operating system. Ten years later, it was this OS system that saved Apple Corporation and ensured their dominance in the computer market.
Though Steve Jobs had made it to the top by 1983, he had little interest in running Apple. Instead, he brought in John Sculley, an executive at Pepsi, to be the CEO of the company. Only a few years later however, a power struggle broke out between the two and “Jobs was out, fired by Sculley in late 1985. … He dumped all his stock – less than a single share – and, a few months later, started a company called NeXT” (Kaplan 105).
Steve’s NeXT Step
Upon being fired, Jobs went on to create the NeXT computer which was released in 1989 in San Francisco. Nicknamed as “the black box,” the computer ran on a operating system named NeXTStep. The NeXTStep was an “object-oriented technology that Apple’s Pink engineers were just starting to develop” (Carlton 409). The system was innovative in its utilization of “reusable ‘chunks’ of software code that could be used to build a more versatile and adaptable operating system. Instead of having to perform major surgery on the operating system each time it needed upgrading, the reusable chunks of code could be swapped out at will” (Carlton 409).
“Plan A instead of Plan B”
About a decade after firing Steve Jobs, Apple began to lose momentum as it became imperative to find a new operating system. As Microsoft was steadily becoming stronger, Apple frantically started searching for alternatives to calm their customers, as well as their software developers. Gilbert Amelio, a CEO at Apple, “promised to unveil a new software strategy on Jan. 7, at the MacWorld trade show in San Francisco” (Burrows). Amelio and his team began to look into Solaris by Sun, Windows NT by Microsoft and considered merging with Be Inc. Apple continued its search for a system in a frenzy, with the five basic requirements being “memory protection, preemptive multitasking, multimedia, ease of use, and ability to access the Internet” (Carlton 411). Ellen Hancock, an important figure at Apple stated, “When we did our numerical scoring, NeXT came out the highest” (Carlton 411). Amelio ended Apple’s struggle through buying the NeXT system and software, saying “I can boil it down to: we picked Plan A instead of Plan B” (Carlton 412). NeXT was bought from Steve Jobs for a final transaction price of $430 million (Carlton 412).