With all the talk about legacy of Steve Jobs and the success of the i-products: iTunes, iPod, iPhone and iPad; one tends to forget that this success was based on Apple reinventing the MacOS from patchwork on a decade-old piece of software and moving things forward. I started using OSX at the end of 2001 and seen it steadily progress in terms of performance and user experience since then.
The underpinnings share a lot of DNA from NeXTStep – the operating system that came with Apple’s acquisition of Steve Jobs’ NeXT Software Inc. But despite the user interface becoming more sophisticated as computing power improved since the 1990s, you can still the user experience ideas in NeXTStep shining through in OSX.
Here is a NeXTStep screenshot
Here is an OSX screenshot
In both screenshots you can see a column based view to the file system and the application dock (in both cases, down the right hand-side of the screen).