history of desktop computing has been relatively brief but hardly dull.
We've seen advances on every
level. Some allows us to perform certain tasks better, while others--such
as the graphical interface--strike to the very core of the way we use
The truly revolutionary advances
are not at all common. In fact, in the last ten years, we've seen only a
few. But in the next 24 pages, you're going to see seven.
This is the NeXT Computer System.
The NeXT Computer is
fundamentally different from other computers. That's a natural
result, given the fundamentally different approach with which it was
The mission of NeXT was to create
the first computer of the 1990's. A computer that would provide a
solution for sophisticated needs today and a base for development well
into the next decade.
To accomplish this goal, we
worked closely with a number of people whose very business is laying the
groundwork for the future: leaders in Higher Education.
They rank among the most
demanding users of technology. In academia, computers are often networked
by the thousands. Given the diversity of disciplines, they are
pushed to the limit on a daily basis, for complex simulations as well as
more traditional uses.
Our collaboration with Higher
Education provided the insight needed to visualize the seven breakthroughs
that would ultimately define the NeXT Computer:
A new architecture optimized for total system throughput, not just
individual component benchmarks.
2. A pioneering technology for
vast and reliable storage, opening the door for new ways to access and use
3. Built-in CD-quality sound,
allowing sound to be integrated into applications that are used every day.
4. A unified imaging system -
Display PostScript - for both the display and the printer. So what you see
on the screen is unequivocally what you get on paper.
5. An intuitive interface that
gives everyone access to UNIX, with all of its power for networking and
6. A multimedia mail system that
enables communication combining text, graphics, and voice.
7. A new development environment
that dramatically cuts the time it takes to create and customize software.
These breakthroughs represent a
new yardstick for measuring performance in the 90's. Each is
standard in the NeXT Computer System, as are all the features described in
This is quite important, because
it is the standard configuration - common to all users - that serves as
the prime target for software developers. The NeXT Computer raises
this "lowest common denominator" to an extraordinary
level. By doing so, it gives developers the freedom to include
richer features and functionality than have ever been available in a
general purpose computer.
The story of NeXT, though, is not
one of technology achievement alone. Of equal importance are the
partnerships we have formed within the industry to ensure a depth of
software and the accessibility of NeXT Computers nationwide. As you
will see, the efforts in these areas has been as intensive as the effort
to create the technology itself.
This is your introduction to the
NeXT Computer System.