It was just over 10 years ago when the daily death knells sounded for Apple Computer. Why?
The company was dying and needed help. What happened? Apple bought co-founder Steve Jobs and NeXT Software 10 years ago today.
Where were you 10 years ago? What computer were you using? Mac or Windows or DOS?
Let me summarize the history leading up to Apple’s historic decline, purchase of Jobs’ NeXT, and the history of the Mac since.
Apple lost its way during the early 1990s with a bewildering array of Mac models, a buggy black and white operating system, and more products on the shelves than Sam’s Club.
Apple wanted and needed a future operating system. The ill-fated Copland project, the new Mac OS, was going nowhere fast, sucking up resources and money at a time when Apple was bleeding itself dry. Why?
Windows. While Windows 3.x wasn’t much competition for the Mac, it owned the business market. Windows 95 was “good enough” to begin crushing the Mac’s market share (which didn’t begin rising for nearly a decade).
In came Apple board member Gil Amelio as the new CEO, searching for a turnaround and a new operating system for the Mac.
On December 20, 1996 Apple announced they bought Steve Jobs’ NeXT Software for $400-million.
Jobs came in as an advisor to Amelio. Within months, Amelio was out, Jobs was in and the “official” turnaround began. The iMac was a big success. Apple upgraded Mac OS (Classic) to match the coloful new iMac.
Years later, Apple launched Mac OS X, the Apple Store, the iPod, iLife, iTunes Store and much more.
Apple’s revenue and profits surged in recent years as did Mac and iPod market share, Apple mind share and future opportunities. Today, the picture is rosy for Apple. The company is swimming in cash, successfuly moved to Intel chips, and leads both in portable music players and legal digital online music sales.
How’s that for a quick summary?
Where were you in 1996 when Apple bought NeXT Software and brouight co-founder Steve Jobs back to the Mac? What Mac or PC were you using back then?
Did you think that Apple would survive? What do you think will happen to Apple over the next five years? What is the main reason that Apple survived and then prospered?