A Brief History of Mac OS X
The story started when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started a company called Apple Computer in their garage. The company grew rapidly so they hired an experienced executive named John Sculley to be its CEO. In 1985, Steve Jobs was moved to a position in which he had no control over the company at all. Within weeks, he had come up with an idea for a startup and left to form another computer company called NeXT Computer.
The idea was to create the perfect research computer for universities and research labs. NeXT hired a small team of brilliant engineers and developed a computer, an operating system, a printer, a factory, and a set of development tools. Each piece was years ahead of competing technologies including the use of Unix as the core of the operating system. The first NeXT computer was unveiled in 1988. There was a lot of amazement and excitement.
Unfortunately, the masses did not buy either the computer or the printer, and in 1993 the factory was closed. NeXT Computer became NeXT Software, and the operating system and the development tools continued to sell under the name NeXTSTEP.
Although the average computer user had never heard of NeXSTEP, it was very popular with scientists, investment banks, and intelligence agencies. Tim Berners-Lee developed the first Web browser and the first Web server on NeXTSTEP. The NeXTSTEP operating system was eventually ported to most of the popular CPUs of the day including Intel and Motorola. Oddly enough, it did not run on a Mac.
For many years, Apple had been desperately seeking to create an operating system to compete with Microsoft. They actually wanted to beat Windows 95 to market but failed. The project of creating a new operating system got out of control and Apple finally decided to pull the plug and buy the next version of Mac OS from another company. After looking at the existing operating systems, Apple selected NeXTSTEP and simply bought the whole company in February 1997. Steve Jobs became the interim CEO of Apple on September 16, 1997 and NeXTSTEP became Mac OS X.