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NeXT, Inc., later NeXT Computer, Inc. and NeXT Software, Inc., was an American computer hardware and software company that was founded by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs. Based in Redwood City, California, the company developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations for higher education and business markets.


After being ousted from Apple in 1985, Jobs established NeXT and bought aboard several former co-workers. NeXT introduced the first NeXT Computer in 1988, and the smaller NeXTstation in 1990. The NeXT computers experienced relatively limited sales. However, their innovative object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment (Interface Builder) were highly influential and became the foundation of macOS.

Interactions with Adobe and Apple[]

Jobs was an early backer of technology from Adobe Systems and had Apple invest in the company and license Adobe PostScript for the Apple LaserWriter printer line.[1][2]


NeXTSTEP Release 3 Demo

Demonstration by Steve Jobs

After Jobs left Apple, he adopted Display PostScript as the on-screen graphics engine of the NeXTSTEP operating system.[3] The integration of PostScript into the operating system allowed the NeXT Laser Printer and Color Printer to be significantly simpler and cheaper, while still maintaining speed and WYSIWYG accuracy in the printed output.[4][5]

On December 20, 1996, Apple announced that it would acquire NeXT and Jobs was back at Apple.[6] The NeXTSTEP operating system was adapted into Mac OS X, but it replaced Display PostScript with a new PDF-based imaging model called Quartz to avoid paying licensing fees to Adobe.[7][8]


  1. Adobe-Apple war on Flash reminiscent of PostScript struggle by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider. 2010-05-14.
  2. Chronicles of Conflict: the History of Adobe vs. Apple by Daniel Eran Dilger, RoughlyDrafted Magazine. 2010-04-14.
  3. New from Adobe by Greg Scott, University of Michigan Computing News, vol.3, no.4, p.10-11. 1988-02-24.
  4. NeXT Laser Printer by Kevin Ford, The Best of NeXT Collection. Accessed 2020-01-31.
  5. NeXT Color Printer by Kevin Ford, The Best of NeXT Collection. Accessed 2020-01-31.
  6. Apple Computer, Inc. agrees to acquire NeXT Software Inc., Next Software. 1996-12-20. Archived 1997-04-12.
  7. NeXT: Apple’s Right Choice by Jonathan Ploudre, Low End Mac. 2001-05-07.
  8. Mac OS X and PDF by Laurens Leurs, Prepressure. 2013-08-09.

External links[]

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