By Brenton R. Schlender

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Even irrepressible Steve Jobs admits the stylish $10,000 computer workstation that his Next company got to the market a year ago is a slow starter: Only 10,000 have been shipped so far. The problem? It's too expensive, doesn't have enough useful software, performs sluggishly, and offers only black and white graphics. That all echoes the criticism Jobs got for a machine he brought out back in 1984, when he was still at Apple Computer -- the now-popular Macintosh PC. Jobs left Apple before the Macintosh was polished up. But he's done his own buffing of Next's computer, which could well save his company. Next is introducing four new models, all packing three times the horsepower of the original and priced as low as $4,995. The top, $14,000 model offers some of the snazziest color graphics available on desktops. Big-name software makers like Lotus, Ashton-Tate, and WordPerfect say they'll ship fancy new spreadsheets and word processors. Jobs claims sneak peeks have already led to orders for 10,000 of the new machines, which would double the number sold to date, ''as soon as we can make them.''