NeXT Apple

In late 1996, Apple Computer bought from Steve jobs ‘ NeXT Software. This is a real historical fact. However, in fact it was the opposite. To absorb and digest tiny Apple, NeXT was not easy, but they managed.

At the end of 1996, Apple Computer was in the middle of the “spiral of death”, at the point where it was impossible to return to the world of the living. Spiral of death this phenomenon is called Gil Amelio, in one of the books written by him several years before he contacted Apple.

The company was bleeding. Sales were falling with an acceleration of free fall. In 1995, the volume of sales was 11.1 billion dollars. In 1996 9.5 billion in 1997 and 6.9. As a public company, Apple has been obliged to publicly report to shareholders.

The partners abandoned the partnership, customers ran. Autos Ellen Hancock, who announced publicly in August 1996, in fact, the inability of the company to create a modern operating system, has accelerated this process, but it was not the sole cause of the problems of the company.

The company reaped the fruits of incompetent management in the past few years. In 1996, Apple was twice the champion. In a report on the results of the first quarter, the company announced a loss of $ 740 million dollars. Don’t know, beat anyone this record currently, but in April 1996 it was the largest loss in Silicon valley’s history.

A month before the announcement of the results of the quarter, Gil Amelio warned financial partners about the loss of “approximately $ 700 million,” and about its causes.

For 1996, the company lost 1.6 billion dollars. Another record. In addition, the annual loss was equal to the total net profit received by Apple since 1991, and the reporters, with great pleasure, announced to the readers of popular publications.

Plan A

None of the experts who were watching development of a situation with the acquisition of Apple a basis for his “modern operating system”, no doubt: this is BeOS. That Gil Amelio and Jean-Louis Gasse negotiate, reported the press service of both companies. The delays were due just traded. It is sacred.

And suddenly, quite unexpectedly, Gil Amelio announced the acquisition of NeXT. Shock. Not all of the experts knew that this company is. Even those who were aware, considered her an outsider and a failed project. Unknown to the General programming public Objective-C, little-known company not listed on the stock exchange, and the infamous jobs…

Since 1994, the company has been consistently profitable. Despite a minor presence in the market, the company made a good profit on clients, one requirement of which was privacy. The FBI, the NSA, the IRS, and several Federal agencies. These data were declassified in due time, and became a sensation.

Multinationals, the second largest group of customers, the demands were no less stringent. There is still no reliable information with which TNCs NeXT dealt with, and what services they provided, it is only known that the company sold them their services for a lot of money.

40-60 million dollars a year for the company, which employs about a hundred people, the amount is more than sufficient.

The decision was taken by Gil Amelio. Ellen Hancock was against it, but the task to reassure and inspire the developers and experts of the new features Apple had been assigned to her. She wrote a very long press release, which only fueled the interest in future innovations.

Personally for me it was the second crossing with the technology NeXT, but now I have the Internet and a lot of questions.

Impressions of the recent “success” and “innovation” Apple was too bright to just believe in something good, but detailed technical information from the site NeXT looked interesting and convincing.

Tips outsider

Ten years after the events, at some Apple event Steve was asked to talk about his first months after returning to Apple. After a little thinking he said something.

His story heard hundreds of people, some told him differently. My former colleague at the Russian Apple IMC (Independent Marketing Company) sent me a recording of this speech. The record is not preserved, reproduce from memory, loosely translated.

Steve didn’t want to go in computer industry. Computer animation attracted him much more, and achieving Apple’s acceptance of its terms (almost half a billion dollars!), accepted the offer to become adviser to the head of the company solely in order to be able to breathe the air he created the company to communicate with people – finally.

No plans for a takeover of the company. He walked, talked, and felt what is going wrong that troubled him more and more. He was, roughly speaking, no one – not even the Manager, but people were interested in his opinion about the projects they continued to work, knowing about the situation in the company.

Gil Amelio was friendly, courteous and listen carefully to the advice of EA… But acted differently. And even asked not to interfere in disputes between businesses.

Gil was optimistic, but, as Steve found out about the real situation, he was terrified. The measures that should be taken urgently, Gil did not consider it necessary at all.

The company was a pity (after all, he was one of its creators, not a stranger), and especially sorry for the people. He felt almost sorry for them. He realized that it all must be saved, that no one but him can not cope with this (and chances are not many), and that all this should be done urgently and at any cost.


If back in 1994 Steve with friend Larry (Ellison, head of Oracle), plot to capture Apple, but somehow it never did. Probably because it was just a conversation over a Cup of coffee that someone heard something I thought.

In 1994 Steve for a complete happiness is not enough to take on a more and Apple.

In 1997, having made the decision and considering possible ways of achieving the desired result, Steve has committed an act, which confessed before the public in a few years and acknowledged that it was an ugly act.

He set Gil Amelio, provoking a fall of the stock price, selling its entire package at a lower price, and appealed to the Board of Directors. They had previously been dissatisfied with the results of the actions of the CEO, and invited Amelio to resign. The interim head of the company for 90 days until the Board of Directors will be looking for a new head, was Steve.

Having access to all the information, Steve was horrified – it was worse than he thought.

By the way, Amelio did the right and necessary things. He twice reduced the range of products. By the time of its inauguration, the range was vast and boundless.

Apple at the time was selling dozens of varieties of Macs, to enumerate which annually produce fat pocket books format in which it was reported their brief technical data.

In addition to the Macs Apple produced the Newton s, laser printers, eMate with the operating system from Newton, photo and video cameras, and much more.

Gil tried to bring order in the structure of the company, back to basics, to focus staff on priorities.

Dr. Amelio was very intelligent, but his orders were perceived by the employees of the company, out of habit, as recommendations are non-binding.

Then Steve broke up the old Board of Directors. Then…

NeXT captures Apple

In August 1997, the head of the (albeit temporary) Apple was Steve. All key positions have been or come from NeXT (Evie Tevanyan, John Rubinstein, and others), or loyal to Steve and the NeXT people (Fred Anderson).

Since August 1997, the assertion that it NeXT bought Apple and not Vice versa, I’ve heard from various Apple employees with whom I now had to communicate.

To be continued

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