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Quiz: What was the first computer/operating system to feature a graphical user interface (GUI)?

Originally published in MOREnetworking Vol. 1 No. 5, Feb. 5, 2003

  1. The Apple Lisa
  2. The Xerox Alto
  3. The Perq Graphical Workstation
  4. Microsoft Windows

Highlight the following text for the answer.

Answer: 2. The Xerox Alto was developed at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1973. The Alto cost about $32,000 and received limited distribution; only about 1,500 were made, and most of those not used by Xerox were donated to university research programs. The Alto featured a graphical user interface and was also the first computer to use a mouse. In 1981, Xerox released a commercial version of the Alto called the Star, which was not successful. Many of the innovations introduced on the Alto were adopted by Apple Computer, first for its Lisa workstation in 1983 and then for the Macintosh in 1984. Microsoft Windows was released in 1985, but did not see widespread acceptance until version 3.1 was released in 1992.

hendersonl | Wednesday, February 5, 2003 | |

 

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