Obituary: Steve Jobs

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Obituary: Steve Jobs

Post by zebadee on Thu 6 Oct 2011 - 14:32

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, the company behind some of the world's most iconic and influential technology products, has died aged 56.

During his tenure at Apple he became synonymous with the company, as it produced a constant stream of successful devices such as the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

In 1986, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur bought a company called The Graphics Group, later to be called Pixar. The pioneering computer animation company went on to create some of the most critically acclaimed and highest grossing animated films of all time, including the Toy Story series and Finding Nemo.

However, it is for his work at Apple that Jobs will be best remembered.

Starting out
Born on 24 February 1955, to graduate students Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, Steven Paul Jobs was later adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs.

After dropping out of college he founded Apple on 1 April 1976, with his friend Steve Wozniak.

Initially the pair worked out of Jobs' family garage in California, selling some of their possessions - including Jobs' Volkswagen van - in order to fund development of the Apple I. Their hard work paid off in 1977 when the Apple II computer became a big seller. Jobs was 25 when Apple became a public company, by which time he had amassed a personal fortune of $165 million.

The famous '1984' Super Bowl TV commercial launched the Macintosh computer. The machine's graphical user interface was a hit with both business customers and consumers, and it has had a huge influence on the computer operating systems that have followed.

AP Photo-Sal Veder

By this point Jobs had also recruited PepsiCo president John Sculley to serve as Apple's chief executive officer, asking him: "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?"

This decision soon came back to haunt Jobs, however. After an internal power struggle with Sculley, he was ousted from his own company in 1985.

After Apple
Down he may have been, but Jobs was not out of the technology business for long.

In 1985 he founded NeXT, which manufactured high-end workstations, while in 1986 he bought the LucasArts computer animation division (The Graphics Group) for $10 million and renamed it Pixar Animation Studios.

Pixar established itself as a major force in Hollywood with the release of Toy Story in 1995, and Jobs became an overnight billionaire when the company went public in the same year. It was later sold to Disney for $7.4 billion, with Jobs becoming Disney's largest individual shareholder.

NeXT was not so successful, however, and in 1993 the company stopped hardware production in order to focus on its NexTSTEP operating system.

Jobs' return
Apple chief executive Gil Amelio's purchase of NeXT Computer in 1996 brought Jobs back to the company he'd helped found, initially as an advisor.

He became interim CEO the following year after the removal of Amelio by the board, and set to work reviving the faltering company, which had recently posted another multi-million-dollar quarterly loss.

By January 1998 he had managed to return the company to profitability, securing $150 million investment from Microsoft in return for bundling its software with Macintosh computers.

It marked the start of a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Apple. With the help of a talented team, Jobs produced a string of highly functional yet elegantly designed products.

The eye-catching iMac G3 showed Apple was back in the game, and the revised PowerBook quickly became popular with students and designers. The new hardware was supported by Mac OS X, which had its roots in Jobs' NeXTSTEP development.

iPod launch
Despite these successes, Jobs had ambitions to expand Apple's product range beyond computers. After identifying a gap in the fledgling MP3 market, Apple released the first iPod in October 2001.

The iTunes software that later accompanied the device proved vital to its success, enabling owners to download a vast range of songs with ease. Soon Apple owned the biggest-selling MP3 player in the world, and the largest online music store too.

Not content with revolutionising the music industry, Jobs then turned his attention to the smartphone market. The iPhone was released in 2007 and quickly established itself as a hugely desirable mobile phone. Its slick touchscreen display, ease-of-use and the later addition of App Store functionality forced other mobile phone manufacturers to play catch-up.

Introducing the phone, Jobs said: "There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote I love. 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it's been.' That's what we try to do at Apple."

iPad announcement
The company's next major hardware innovation, a touchscreen tablet dubbed the iPad, met with scepticism from some quarters of the press and public when it was announced in January 2010. By the end of the year it had become the fastest-selling gadget of all time.

During his second tenure at Apple, Jobs became famous for his hotly anticipated keynote speeches, dubbed 'Stevenotes', when he would take to the stage in his trademark black turtleneck top and Levi jeans to announce new products and developments to an excited crowd.

In 2004 he was forced to take an extended leave of absence from the company due to diagnosis of a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

He returned after an apparently successful operation, but was forced to take leave again in 2009 and ultimately required a liver transplant.

Soon Jobs was back at the helm once more, but it recently became apparent that his health problems had returned and he took a further medical leave of absence in January 2011.

He resigned as Apple's CEO in August, handing over his duties to Tim Cook.

In his resignation letter, Jobs said: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

Jobs remained at the company as Apple's chairman.

He is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell, and four children.
Duncan Jefferies ( contributor, MSN Tech & Gadgets )


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Re: Obituary: Steve Jobs

Post by SithTracy on Thu 6 Oct 2011 - 16:17

He was a remarkable man regardless if you use Apple products or not. Imagine where we would be with no Steve Jobs/Apple. We'd probably still be using DOS. His ideas paved the way for many more ideas. The tech world will miss him.


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Re: Obituary: Steve Jobs

Post by 4hams on Thu 6 Oct 2011 - 18:20

Well said Sith!


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