NeXTstep Connectivity

"At NeXT, we believe the mission of computing in the 1990s is to improve group productivity and collaboration–Interpersonal Computing. To succeed, Interpersonal Computing requires computer platforms which integrate powerful networks and robust communication tools. For this reason, NeXT has made networking and connectivity a cornerstone of its design. The result is a flexible solution that can share information and services with mixed networks and multiple platforms.

As a standard UNIX! workstation, NeXT" adheres to industry standards and multivendor connectivity. (For a detailed list of standards supported by NeXT, see NeXT and Open Systems Standards, in the NeXT White Paper Library.) From the start, NeXT built compatibility into every computer. In doing this we had an advantage. Since NeXT computers were designed more recently than the architectures of other major manufacturers, NeXT could observe which standards were accepted and provide true value to users. NeXT incorporated into its design technologies actually embraced by our key markets. Our view is simple:

Use standards whenever possible.

Develop new technologies when users are dissatisfied with current industry offerings, or when current offerings limit important kinds of user functionality.

And make NeXT’s new technologies coexist in a heterogeneous world.

This document discusses key industry connectivity standards that are incorporated into all NeXT systems. It also highlights many commercial products which make it easy to connect NeXT computers to any existing network, including: SNA, LU6.2, Token-Ring, X.25, X.400, AFS, Apple EtherTalk, Novell NetWare, UNIX, and more.

But first we want you to know our bias: The ultimate standards-based computer would be a perfect clone of whatever computer system had the largest market share. This product would bring no surprises and certainly no additional value to users. NeXT computers were never conceived to offer merely a cheaper version of yesterday’s technology. NeXT's goal is to provide the finest possible computing environment to enable our users to work creatively and collaboratively.

In today's heterogeneous computing environment, the NeXT system is designed to fit in just as well as it stands out. We hope you agree that NeXT developed the right balance between relying on broadly accepted industry standards and innovating to improve the value and functionality available to users."

For the full white paper see:
NeXTstep Connectivity