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OpenStep, also stylized as OPENSTEP, is an open source API derived from the NeXTSTEP operating system that was developed by NeXT.

After Apple Computer announced in December 1996 that it would acquire NeXT,[1] OpenStep was used to develop Mac OS X, codenamed Rhapsody, as Apple's next operating system.[2] iOS and macOS (formerly Mac OS X) can trace their developmental roots to NeXTSTEP as their APIs are prefixed with NS (NSObject, NSString, etc.).[3]


  1. Apple Computer, Inc. agrees to acquire NeXT Software Inc., Next Software. 1996-12-20. Archived 1997-04-12.
  2. NeXT: Apple’s Right Choice by Jonathan Ploudre, Low End Mac. 2001-05-07.
  3. Apple and NeXT announce merger (1996) by mattl, Y Combinator Hacker News. 2017-12-20.

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