With the beginning of 1996, Apple realized that with the next generation PC’s running Windows NT to be released within the decade, they would need a new, modern operating system to run on their machines. Most in the industry were certain that Apple would choose Be, whose operating system, BeOS, already ran on Apple’s newest computers.
Amongst Apple’s other options were to license Solaris from Sun, NT from Microsoft, or to purchase a small net services company called NeXT which Apple ultimately chose. osOpinion/osViews has an article which explores Apple’s historical transition to today’s OS X.
Full article here.