Industry vs NeXT

In the late 80s the emergence of new computer platform is shared between the industry giants the market was impossible, but “black iron” NeXT, no matter what how the Apple II and the Mac, and in 1991 became a real threat to the established order.

As it was with the Apple II and Mac s, “black iron” was addictive. None of those who had the opportunity to learn about AMI’s adapt to IVF, do not remain indifferent. It was in them, something almost magic. At first glance, irrational and abnormal.

In fact, someone guessed what it is actually dreaming IT-shnik themselves without even knowing it. Steve jobs, of course, this had nothing to do.

Adapt to IVF s was addictive, in fact. By itself, this fact means almost nothing: it happens all the time, but the greatest joy a little person can shake the foundations of the universe.

NeXT Computer failed to intrigue the audience, to cause widespread curiosity, the desire to try this mysterious thing – say, I of course don’t buy anything, but because I’m curious!

The first attempt was unsuccessful: the NeXT curiosity sparked, only to quench it, there was almost no possibility. Adapt to IVF s was not commercially available, they cost insanely expensive, they were slow and full of bugs – and still they had something that was not at anybody. Tiny for such a revolt, nothing and no one threatens.

How many of them have been… And it went nowhere. With a few exceptions. Miracles do not happen, if you talk about the wonders, watch out for my wallet!

But in 1990 the situation changed.


Crazy idea NeXT interested in IBM. Big Blue (IBM’s nickname), which Steve jobs has repeatedly accused of collaborating with opposition to progress, bought his company (according to unconfirmed reports, over $ 10 million) license to use NeXTstep on several of their platforms.

The amount was not disclosed. Journalists, through their own channels (for five dollars a typist?), learned the details of the transaction, but the amount is based on their reasoning.

Exercising its licensing rights on platforms RS/6000 and PS/2, IBM suddenly changed course. The plans, which Big Blue announced publicly, have been cancelled.

IBM and Apple have formed an Alliance for which there was not a single word about the NeXT, but a hint of this troublemaker was enough. One of the goals of the Alliance was a joint development of “object-oriented operating system”, which created a joint venture (Taligent). The basis for the Taligent project was Pink.

Apple was interested in moving to the RISC architecture of IBM it was profitable.

At Unix EXPO in 1991, the President of office workstations, IBM bill Philip said that NeXTstep is not an object-oriented system. Multi-layer system, such as OS/2 or System 7, and there is nothing innovative.

But Apple developed a pure object-oriented system, for all its depth, from scratch is Pink, and IBM is ready the system to support.

On what grounds Mr. Philip considered fanatical worship of one of the programming paradigms an absolute blessing, is unknown. Apparently, among the top management of leading companies in the industry formed this opinion.

Fanatical worship of any idea of killing her more effectively than its opponents. Bringing it to the point of absurdity and madness. Object-oriented programming is not a panacea for bad code. At a reasonable and proper use, it is not worse than others. And dozens of examples, as if confirming the opposite, just a collection of typical mistakes that should be avoided.

Another goal of the Alliance between Apple and IBM was the joint development of the workstations on the RISC processors “in RS/6000”, that is, POWER. Processors PowerPC used in Macs from 1994 to 2005, was developed on their basis.

Alliance Apple and IBM were directed against the NeXT, but was another victim is Motorola, which developed its own family of RISC processor, the 88000.

Motorola was in a very uncomfortable position, promising her serious trouble. But, not knowing how the situation will be kept partners in the dark…

Motorola and Steve jobs

Despite the rumors about talks with IBM to Motorola and its changes and Steve until the decision on the abolition Motorola serial production MC88110, demanded to continue work on the NeXT RISC Workstation (NRW) on this processor. To all questions he replied that he gave the word. He believed them! This is puzzling: how could he believe them?

It was a mistake, but it describes Steve from an unexpected quarter. He never broke his word. Except, when he himself was misled. To believe in someone’s word can only be a very honest man.

Steve had to perform ugly deeds, but only when there was no other choice. If he had not first set up in 1997, Gil Amelio, then Apple’s Board of Directors, in September or October, the company had to declare bankruptcy.

A few years later he told about it – starting the story with “I had to do the ugly”.


To develop their own RISC architecture at Motorola began in the first half of the 80s. the Engineers at Motorola has always distinguished the aristocratic purity of the design, and the 78000 family was no exception.

The decision to develop was taken 78000, schedules, assigned managers, but, for unknown reasons, it was financed by a residual principle, and behind schedule. And from the competition.

In 1985, Steve was looking for ambitious, powerful processor for his new project, he knew that Motorola is developing its own RISC. But the time for his meeting with the leadership of Motorola was not the best. The project was cancelled 78000, 88000, using the achievements of its predecessor, was just beginning.

He was shown new series 68k, early prototype 68040, spoke about the super-processor from this series 68060, and about how great the 88000 processor will, when completed its development. In the next few years, as it turned out, neither of which mass production of the RISC processor from Motorola was out of question.

MC88100, the first processor 88000 family, was released in April 1988. Two years after SPARC and MIPS. According to experts, the delay fault is confusion and vacillation in the leadership of Motorola, which could not decide on priorities.

In the first serial the MC88100 processor on the chip has no MMU unit, it was made from some high considerations, and with a purpose, but clever words have not helped, and the success of the processor had not.

The processor of the second generation of the family, MC88110, corrected this error, its output was planned for 1991. The CPU was very good and could compete with the PowerPC, but Motorola their engineers did not believe.

Apple, NeXT, and Apollo Computer, Motorola signed protocols of intent to use these processors, Motorola assured the partners in the firm of their plans.

It was in 1990. Into NeXT relax (Steve believed Motorola) and the project NRW (NeXT RISC Workstation) started. Three of the developers of NRW, Peter king, Mike Damone and John Simons later recalled how it was. It turned out a fantastic device – in a flat housing (form factor “box of pizza”), a somewhat greater thickness than the NeXTstation, it is easily bypassed against the performance indicators.

MC88110 was a great processor, according to who worked with it developers. In NRW only one MC88110 was a half times more effective than two PowerPC 601.

Redesign NRW had to quickly and unexpectedly in 1991, Motorola MC88110 announced, but mass production was not launched, ostensibly because of some technical problems.

As it turned out, Motorola has been engaged in extensive negotiations with IBM and Apple, which resulted in the AIM consortium (Apple+IBM+Motorola), RISC processors, PowerPC, and complete cessation of the project 88000.

Apple survived the crash easily. For the past few months there worked with the prototypes of the PPC 601, and any MC88110 did not even think. Just shut up about it.

Apollo Computers of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, in 1989 was acquired by HP for the 476 million dollars. According to bill Poduska, it had to agree because of the inability of Motorola to start production of bad MC88100 in the required quantities.

For the NeXT unpacked the box with the prototypes of the PPC 601, and while jobs had to settle problems between Pixar and Walt Disney started refining NRW.

The rumors that the team at NeXT have not coped with the transition to a dual PPC 601, not believe. The return of Steve jobs two-processor box from under the pizza worked, though not without problems.

But they are waiting for another surprise from Motorola.

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