NeXT Computer

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NeXT Computer
NEXT Cube-IMG 7154.jpg
NeXTcube with original screen, keyboard and mouse
Manufacturer NeXT, Fremont, California
Type Workstation
Release date October 12, 1988; 28 years ago (1988-10-12)
Introductory price US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,163 in 2016)
Discontinued 1990 (1990)
Operating system NeXTSTEP, OpenStep
CPU Motorola 68030 @ 25 MHz, 68882 FPU @ 25 MHz, 56001 digital signal processor (DSP) @ 25 MHz
Memory shipped with 8 MB, expandable to 16 MB using 1 MB Single Inline Memory Modules (SIMMs)
Storage 256 MB magneto-optical drive, optional hard disk
Display MegaPixel 17" monitor
Graphics 1120×832 pixel resolution, four-level grayscale
Sound built-in speakers
Input 85-key keyboard, 2-button mouse
Connectivity Ethernet
Power 300 Watts, 3 Amperes
Dimensions 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped case
Successor NeXTcube

The NeXT Computer (also called the NeXT Computer System) is a workstation computer developed, marketed, and sold by NeXT Inc. It runs the Mach- and BSD-derived, Unix-based NeXTSTEP operating system, with a proprietary GUI using a Display PostScript-based back end. The motherboard is square and fits into one of four identical slots in the enclosure. The NeXT Computer enclosure consists of a 1-foot (305 mm) die-cast magnesium cube-shaped, black case, which led to the machine being informally referred to as "The Cube". It was launched in 1988 at US$6,500 (equivalent to $13,200 in 2016).

The NeXT Computer was succeeded by the NeXTcube, an upgraded model, in 1990.


Main article: NeXT Introduction

The NeXT Computer was revealed at a lavish, invitation only, gala launch event in October 1988 "NeXT Introduction – the Introduction to the NeXT Generation of Computers for Education" at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California. The following day, selected educators and software developers were invited (for $100 registration fee) to attend the first public technical overview of the NeXT computer at an event called "The NeXT Day" held at the San Francisco Hilton. This event gave developers interested in developing NeXT software an insight into the software architecture, object-oriented programming, and developing for the NeXT Computer. The luncheon speaker was Steve Jobs.


BYTE in 1989 listed the NeXT Computer as among the "Excellence" winners of the BYTE Awards, stating that it "shows what can be done when a personal computer is designed as a system, and not a collection of hardware elements". Citing as "truly innovative" the optical drive, DSP, and object-oriented programming environment, the magazine concluded that "the NeXT Computer is worth every penny of its $6500 market price".[1] It was, however, not a significant commercial success, failing to reach the level of high volume sales like the Apple II, Commodore 64, the Macintosh, or Microsoft Windows PCs. The workstations were sold to universities, financial institutions, and government agencies.[citation needed]


This NeXT workstation (a NeXTcube) was used by Tim Berners-Lee as the first Web server on the World Wide Web

A NeXT Computer and its object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN to develop the world's first web server software, CERN httpd, and also used to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb.

The NeXT Computer and the same object oriented development tools and libraries were used by Jesse Tayler at Paget Press to develop the first electronic AppStore The Electronic AppWrapper in the early 1990s. Issue #3 was first demonstrated to Steve Jobs at NeXTWorld Expo 1993.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The BYTE Awards". BYTE. January 1989. p. 327. 

External links[edit]