Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Secret Call to Andy Grove That May Have Helped Apple Buy NeXT

Chris MacAskill (via Hacker News):

I can’t explain why I couldn’t just chill and trust Steve, George Fisher and our engineers [about the Motorola 88110]. Who was I to to get so worked up over it? Steve called me at 11 one night to settle me down but I couldn’t let it go. I wanted to know what Intel was doing and everyone just shrugged. Steve had a philosophy of betting on technologies in the spring of their lives, not the autumn.


I closed my office door, picked up the phone, and asked for Andy Grove. I wanted to know why they weren’t in the conversation. I guessed it was because we used the Intel i860 chip on one of our graphics boards and it didn’t impress us. But what were Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Andy going to do about the Intel 80486 facing the same fate as Motorola’s 68040? I had to know.


Here’s how I’ve remembered Gil’s answer over the years: “Great question, we had big internal debates about that. A lot of people at Apple were afraid of Steve and Jean-Louis had many supporters. Be OS was very respected. In the end it came down to NeXT already supporting Intel and that was important to us.”

I remember thinking, oh my God. Steve, you owe me.

Chris MacAskill:

My opinion after working for [Steve Jobs] (and writing this story) is he couldn’t see obvious things everyone else could see, but he could see things no one else could. I fought with him over stores as did virtually everyone on the board of Apple, and it turned out he was right. Thank God he was stubborn enough to go forward with them. We all said it drove Gateway out of business, yada.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

That's interesting as it suggests that Apple bought NeXT by planning to take the Mac Intel right from the beginning. That's a bit different from some of the other histories.

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