Apple may soon sell the world's leading multi-platform family of computers.

The company's Boot Camp software already allows Mac users to set their systems up to dual boot in either Mac OS X or Windows XP.

Some recent reports also claim Windows Vista will boot on a Mac, when Microsoft does eventually release it.

Reports also confirm that various Linux distributions can also be configured to run natively on Intel Macs.

All these stories show a level of support for Apple's next step - but the latest news may even make Apple CEO Steve Jobs smile: a developer has been able to make NeXT's OpenStep run on a Mac, according to Mac On Intel.

"I have managed, tonight, to grab my OpenStep 4.2 CDs, beta 4 of Parallels Workstation software, and an OpenStep boot floppy from Apple and get the software installed on my 2GHz MacBook Pro," the developer writes.

He reports that the system is very responsive and the display runs at a very high resolution.

Steve Jobs founded NeXT in 1989, with a vision to release a software/hardware combined package that would enable the type of scientific and academic creativity that hadn't been possible before.

The operating system – NextStep (later OpenStep) – used a graphical display system that made its underlying Unix core user friendly.

In its search for a new operating system, Apple acquired NeXT in 1996 for $400 million, securing the services of company co-founder, Jobs, into the bargain. The rest is history...