Next On Jobs's List: Nextstep

Steve Jobs has seen the future again. This time, it isn't hardware. Unable to make money selling high-octane workstations, Jobs's NeXT Computer will shut its factory and lay off all but 200 of its 536-person staff. After spending more than $200 million from Canon, Ross Perot, IBM, and Jobs himself, NeXT will focus on what customers always have said is the company's crown jewel: its NextStep operating program, which makes writing software a snap. First, Jobs must finish a long-delayed version of NextStep for IBM-style personal computers. Even then, Microsoft's release of its new operating software this summer could steal his thunder. His best hope: Get PC makers to offer NextStep on their machines.

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