Excerpt from The PC Pioneers
Steve Jobs, while still with Apple, helped create the Apple University Consortium which offered faculty members, students and their institutions to acquire Apple equipment at a discounted rate. This led to a large number of campuses choosing Mac; by early 1984 the consortium had been responsible for $50m in Apple sales.
In support of the consortium Jobs met many senior university individuals. It was one of these, Paul Berg, who asked Jobs to develop a 3M computer at Apple. Berg was a Nobel prizewinner for Chemistry and currently working on recombinant DNA. He needed this level of performance for him and his students to make any real progress.
In 1985 the Mac team ran into some difficulties with delays on the release of upgraded Macs, hold-ups on its efforts to break in to the business sector with Macintosh Office. Amidst stock write-offs Sculley removed Jobs from his role and this led to his departure in autumn 1985.
Jobs promptly formed NeXT Inc, later to be split into NeXT Computer Inc and NeXT Software Inc. He assured Apple that his new company would not compete with it but took with him a group of Apple personnel. Apple took legal action to stop him using his knowledge from his time with it but this eventually petered out.
NeXT’s target was the higher education market and the development of the 3M computer.
But it would play a major role in the development of the world wide web at CERN.