Thanks, that was definitely interesting to read. I thought I knew my (electronic) music history, but I’ve never heard about Zuklus. 1988, eh?
By reading the article, I think I’ve understood enough to tell you a bit about the conceptual difference between N.O.W and Zuklus, as they are actually very different from each other. First and foremost, Zuklus relies on storing it’s sequences in memory, and supports multiple sequences at the same time, whereas N.O.W is working with a single sequence at a time, and doesn’t rely on storing presets (yet) - instead, it can learn from it’s own output. This is a very important point regarding N.O.W, that you are able to produce a huge amount of unique sequences, and then pick any point in the timeline, and apply those settings to the sequencer.
Being able to learn from one’s own output is also the reason why N.O.W is using unique note columns for each step in a sequence (well, apart from the fact that they are very easy to manage afterwards).
While this synchronicity between input and output does impose certain limitations, it doesn’t mean that performance and workflow cannot be improved further: For example, one of the planned features for N.O.W is the ability to ‘lock’ it. This would simply be a button which, when enabled, would lock the currently active instrument & track that N.O.W is using. This could potentially even be stored within the song (by assigning a specific name to the instrument and track). Then, any song which rely on N.O.W would instantly be ready for use when loaded, with the right sound (instrument) and effect (track dsp chain).