NeXT Software

Operating System

NeXTSTEP 1 thru 3.3

Nextstep was the object-oriented, multitasking operating system that NeXT Computer developed to run on its proprietary NeXT computers ("black boxes").

Nextstep 1.0 was released on September 18, 1989 after several previews starting in 1986. The last version, 3.3, was released in early 1995, by which time it ran not only on Motorola 68000 family processors, but also IBM PC compatible x86, Sun SPARC, and HP PA-RISC. Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X is a direct descendant of Nextstep.

Nextstep included several major initiatives:
  1. a Unix operating system based on the Mach kernel, plus source code from BSD Unix
  2. Display PostScript and a windowing engine
  3. the Objective-C language and runtime
  4. an object-oriented (OO) application layer, including several "kits"
  5. development tools for the OO layers

Nextstep's was innovative due to the last three items. The software toolkits offered incredible power, and were themselves used to build all of the software on the machine. TheObjective-C language made the writing of applications with Nextstep far easier than on many competing systems, and the system was often pointed to as a paragon of computer development, even a decade later. It is used at Apple today as the primary development language for Mac OS X.

Nextstep's user interface was refined and consistent. It was important to offer developers a ritch development environement that made it easier to keep to recommended standards for interface design simply by writing it the easiest way possible, using NeXT"s built in Objects. A carrot worked better than a stick in attracting and keeping independent software developers. You see this philosophy working today in the development tools for Apple Macs and iPhones.

The following CDs are part of the collection:

NeXTSTEP Prerelease 3.0 CD

NEXTSTEP Release 3.2 HP PA_RISC Dev Prerelease

NEXTSTEP Release 3.2 HP PA_RISC Pre-Release USER

NEXTSTEP 3.3 RISC Prerelease


OPENSTEP 4.0 Prerelease 1.0 for Mach

OPENSTEP 4.2Prerelease

NeXTSTEP Dual ScreenBeta