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The NeXT years
The NeXT years
Jobs with Ross Perot
1985-1996
Jobs left Apple with half a dozen key employees and dreams of building a university workstation powerful enough to run recombinant DNA simulations yet cheap enough for college students to use in their dorm rooms.

Backed by Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who would later run for president, Jobs' team produced a sleek black magnesium cube that won plaudits from high-end users, including Tim Berners-Lee, who designed the first Web server on a NeXT machine. But at $9,999, it never really took off. Total machines sold: 50,000.

In 1993 Jobs took NeXT out of the computer hardware business and concentrated on selling its operating system, NeXTSTEP, which later became the foundation of Mac OS X.

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Last updated November 05 2009: 7:49 AM ET
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