What was the first desktop computer?

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Mudassir Ali
Feb 04, 2020 03:03 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 04, 2020 03:03 PM

Originally Answered: When did desktop computers come out?
Actually even the Apple 1 was made after Steve Jobs saw something at Xerox: Xerox Alto – Wikipedia

2 or 3 years later the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) with Ronald Wayne made their first “PC” in a garage. This was shown to many companies and it was impressive for its time, but really only when they made the Apple II did it become really spread over the place.

If Xerox had a bit more focus on other stuff than just copiers, they could have taken this enormous market a huge number of years earlier. Their R&D department already had a machine far surpassing the original PCs nearly a decade before Apple and later IBM made things for the average users. Everything already sorted out, hardware, software, a very good operating system (with a GUI interface) as well as their own extremely easy to use programming language called Smalltalk. They even got school kids using this to do graphics designs on their machines.

Things like Windows only started becoming feasible in the late 80s / early 90s, supplanting the text-only DOS. Apple did get to GUI earlier though, and based nearly all of their ideas off what Steve saw at Xerox.

So at least you can say the Xerox Alto experiment had one huge benefit: It lighted the fire under Steve Jobs’ imagination.

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