This story, like almost every one about NeXT these last few years, strikes me as deepy revisionest with regard to objective-C. I have no idea who or what power is astroturfing so hard, but someone is trying to re-write history to make objective-C more important or impactful than it was at the time. When NeXT hit the collective consciousness, they were of remark because of their hardware choices; nobody gave half a thought to their software implementation, despite the somewhat novel visual aesthetic. Yes, we were inspired and yes we lusted after their machines, but I am sorry, everyone was still writing C at the time.
I don’t remember it quite that way — “objects” were the mega-buzzword of the day, even though few people knew what objects and object-orientation meant. I remember it being heavily talked about that so much of NeXTSTEP was written in an object-oriented language, and NeXT/Jobs often used Interface Builder (which heavily relied/relies on the Objective-C runtime) to show off how much more quickly you could allegedly write software on the system.