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Programming Windows: Meanwhile, in Cupertino (Premium)

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In March 1996, Steve Jobs experienced a professional nadir when he appeared on stage at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC). The theme that year was “building Internet applications,” and the software giant promised that executive vice president Paul Maritz would present Microsoft’s strategy for integrating the PC with the Internet how Win32 and OLE developers could “extend their investments in this area.”

At the time, Jobs was on the receiving end of over a decade of failure: his firm NeXT had never attracted a meaningful customer base, forcing him to switch strategies again and again in turn. NeXT originally offered expensive workstation-class computers for the education market, but it was eventually forced to drop the hardware and adapt its advanced, object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system into a cross-platform programming environment and application layer called OpenSTEP that would run on successful enterprise platforms of the day, including Sun Solaris and Microsoft’s Windows NT.

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