Steve Jobs

(b. 1955) American computer entrepreneur

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(1955–  )

US computer pioneer and businessman. He is credited as the driving force behind significant products that emphasize the tight integration of functionality, ease of use, and elegant design. Interested in computers from an early age, Jobs worked briefly for Hewlett-Packard and Atari before founding Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) with Steve Wozniak in 1976 to sell the latter's design of a microcomputer circuit board, the Apple I. The Apple II (1977) was a full computer and made Apple a major player in the emerging microcomputer industry. In 1979, inspired by a visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs decided that GUI interfaces represented the future for microcomputers. This vision was first implemented in the Lisa (1983), which failed in the market because of its high price; and then, seminally, in the Macintosh (1984). A power struggle led to Jobs leaving Apple (1985) and he founded NeXT Inc., which developed innovative but generally unsuccessful microcomputers. He returned to Apple when Apple bought NeXT (1996) and soon became CEO, a position he retains. Jobs also owned the Pixar movie production studio from 1996 until 2006, when he sold it to The Walt Disney Company; he then became a director of Disney.

Subjects: Computing — Marketing.

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