Most of the articles written in the past few days about Jobs’s resignation have tended to focus on the iPhone and the iPad. But if you take the long view, they’re just the icing on the cake.
Have we forgotten already that Jobs virtually invented the personal computer, with the introduction of the Apple II, when he was barely 21? That a few years later he saved Apple from near-disaster by creating the Macintosh — the first machine with a mouse and windows, and all the other features we associate with modern computing? That the NeXT operating system was critical to the next generation of Macintosh computers after Jobs returned from a 12-year exile in 1997? And, yes, then came the iPod, the iPhone and iPad — all of them so elegant in their look and feel that they became more than devices. They were objects of lust.
There’s more, of course. Steve Jobs persuaded the recording industry to use his iTunes to give consumers an easy alternative to stealing music online. The iPhone completely upended two industries: computing and cellphones. The iPad is in the process of doing the same to the written word. And let’s not forget Pixar, which Jobs bought at the same time he was starting NeXT, and which has become the greatest maker of animated films in modern times, steeped in Jobs’s aesthetic and attention to detail.
Joe Nocera, What Makes Steve Jobs Great – NYTimes.com