NeXT Introduction

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The NeXT Introduction sub-titled "the Introduction to the NeXT Generation of Computers for Education"[1]" was a lavish, invitation-only gala launch event [2] for The NeXT Computer (also called the NeXT Computer System) was described as a multimedia extravaganza.[3] It was held at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, California on Wednesday October 12, 1988. The event ran from 9:30am till 12 noon.[1] Attendees were all given a unique launch event poster.

After Steve Jobs departed Apple three years prior to this event,[4] he sank from sight only emerging once in 1986 to unveil the NeXT logo[5] and once in early 1987 to announce that H. Ross Perot had invested $20 million in NeXT inc.[6] Otherwise, Steve Jobs shunned public appearances at computer-industry events to avoid having to comment publicly about his new company's activities.[3] But then he re-emerged with this Launch in what was described as having "the subtlety of a Hollywood première[3]" in what was his first major public appearance since leaving Apple. Jobs hired multimedia artist George Coates to stage the unveiling.[7]

At the time, it was considered that this event was the launch of not just a new computer but also a new Steve Jobs. With Jobs himself telling his audience "It's great to be back."[7]

More than 3000 invitations were sent out to educators, software developers & reporters[8] for the launch event but not a single Apple employee was invited.[3]

The company rented the Davies Symphony Hall, supposedly because of its good acoustics, to show off the DSPs that allowed the Cube to play full stereo sound.[6] The machine played a duet with one of the symphony’s violinists.[9]

Jobs opened the show with a purpose built animation built by NeXT UI Architect Keith Ohlfs, demonstrating the history of computer interfaces and the multi-tasking capabilities of the NeXT computer.[10]

The following day 13 October saw the follow-up event "The NeXT Day" where selected educators and software developers were invited (for $100 registration fee) to send up to four key individuals to attend the first public technical overview of the NeXT computer which was 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.[11]

The program was designed for experienced developers and provided a technical overview of the NeXT software architecture and development environment.

This Launch event was replicated at other venues over the following days at other locations such as Boston’s Symphony Hall[12] and University of California, Riverside.[13]

The Agenda[edit]

Each attendee received an agenda for the day:

Who Developers interested in developing NeXT software
What The NeXT Day
When 8AM to 6PM, October 13, 1988 (luncheon included)
Where San Francisco Hilton (Mason & O'Farrell Streets)
Why To provide a technical overview of the NeXT computer
How Fill out and return the enclosed registration form
8:00 Continental Breakfast
9:00 Opening
Product Overview
Software Architecture
Building User Interfaces
NeXT Software Toolkit
12:00 Luncheon, speaker: Steven P. Jobs
1:30 NeXT Operating System
Display PostScript
Object-oriented Programming
Developing for the NeXT Computer
NeXT Developer Services
Closing Remarks
5:00 Reception

Launch Poster[edit]

The launch poster was given to delegates of the launch event. It measured 37" by 17" and was printed on heavy poster paper. The poster's design consisted of a NeXT Computer, Screen, Keyboard, Mouse and Laser Printer. It also incorporated the NeXT logo designed by Paul Rand and the text "October 12, 1988 - Computing Advances To The NeXT Level".


  1. ^ a b "NeXT Introduction" (Press release). NeXT, Inc. 8 September 1988.
  2. ^ The Best of NeXT Computers: NeXT Timeline
  3. ^ a b c d Schlender, Brenton R. (13 October 1988). "Next Project: Apple Era Behind Him, Steve Jobs Tries Again, Using a New System". The Wall Street Journal (Western ed.). Palo Alto, California: Dow Jones & Company Inc. p. Front Page Leader. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  4. ^ ABC News: When Steve Jobs Got Fired By Apple
  5. ^ The Verge: Steve Jobs video from his days at NeXT
  6. ^ a b Low End Mac: The NeXT Years: Steve Jobs before His Triumphant Return to Apple
  7. ^ a b Schwartz, John (24 October 1988). "Steve Jobs Comes Back". Newsweek. Palo Alto, California. p. Business. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  8. ^ Hafner, Katherine M.; Brandt, Richard (13 October 1988). "Steve Jobs: Can He Do It Again". BusinessWeek. Palo Alto, California. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  9. ^ Burrows, Peter (6 October 2011). "Steve Jobs: The Wilderness, 1985-1997". Bloomberg Businessweek. San Francisco. p. Features. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  10. ^ Vimeo: NeXT Computer Introduction 1988
  11. ^ "The NeXT Day Agenda" (Press release). NeXT, Inc. 8 September 1988.
  12. ^ High Tech History: Steve Jobs and the NeXT Big Thing
  13. ^ Kenneth Leung, Thinking, Eating, Seeing: 1988 NeXT computer launch poster (Vintage Original)