Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Oct 2011 23:17 UTC, submitted by jello
Apple So, how serious is the legal battle between Apple and the various Android phone makers, really? Surely, it's just logical business sense that's behind it, right? Calculated, well-planned precision strikes designed to hurt Android where simply making better, more innovative products isn't enough? Well, no, not really. We already knew Steve Jobs took this personal - now we know just how personal.
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Alto and Star
by Nth_Man on Sun 23rd Oct 2011 07:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Jennimc"
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

Indeed, Apple did not steal from Xerox. They
commercialized parts of the GUI ideas at Xerox, a
market Xerox wasn't interested in entering in the
first place.

"It was not a commercial product, but several thousand units were built and were heavily used at PARC, other Xerox facilities, and at several universities for many years."

So they licensed these ideas and Xerox took a stake
in Apple. They also put a lot of work in actually
implementing and making the ideas from Xerox in an
actual usable product. The Xerox Alto was a concept,
not a finished product.

You don't sell thousands of "concepts". Anyway, if someone does not take Xerox Star into account, he can also make all type of conclusions...

Xerox Alto:

Price:
Never sold but often given away. Star, a commercial derivative of Alto eventually retailed for $16,595 in 1981

Units Shipped:
2,000 inside Xerox and to universities & research centers.

[There's more in http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/xerox-alto/]

The Xerox Star:

Introduced:
April 27, 1981

Price:
Retailed for $16,595 in 1981 [Before Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh]

Units Shipped:
Tens of thousands

[There's more in http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/xerox-8010/index.html]

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Alto and Star
by frderi on Mon 24th Oct 2011 22:57 in reply to "Alto and Star"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17

Your knowledge of the Alto and Star products obviously don't go much further than skin deep. A prototype released as a product is still a prototype.

Macintosh innovated heavily on the UI front, perhaps its biggest achievement was that the whole Mac UI concept was essentially a self learning system that lowered the bar at who could work with a computer significantly. Yes, the Alto and Star had a rudimentary UI and a mouse, but its functionality was severely limited, as most tasks would still require one to memorize commands. The Mac had the Menu Bar, which allowed someone to look up the commands available in a program and execute them directly trough menus instead.

The Mac also introduced things like resizable windows with the mouse, drag and drop in the Finder, overlapping Finder windows, ... which are traits that have come to be shared with all modern day graphical UI's and were non-existent in the Xerox machines. In hindsight, their machines were proofs of concept, whereas the Mac was the first finished, easy to use and commercially viable product.

Edited 2011-10-24 22:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Alto and Star
by Nth_Man on Tue 25th Oct 2011 00:33 in reply to "RE: Alto and Star"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

About the Xerox Star information that was posted previously:

Price:
Retailed for $16,595 in 1981 [Before Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh]

Units Shipped:
Tens of thousands

If they were really "prototypes", people hadn't spend that much money in tens of thousands of Xerox Stars. People are not idiots. They spend that money in products, but you already knew that.

Reply Parent Score: 2