The Xerox Alto and the GUI By Kyle Wickman

What Is a GUI?

The graphical user interface (GUI /guːiː/), is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators. It helps make things easy for the user in many different ways.


Who was involved?

The Alto became well known in Silicon Valley and its GUI was increasingly seen as the future of computing. In 1979, Steve Jobs arranged a deal in which Apple Computer would license the concepts from Xerox in exchange for Xerox being able to purchase stock options in Apple.

When was it used?

It was the first computer to use the desktop metaphor and mouse-driven graphical user interface. It was different so it was still an "experiment" and wasn't used for much of anything compared to today.

Where was it developed?

The first machines were introduced on 1 March 1973, a decade before mass market GUI machines arose, developed by Douglas Engelbart, and Dustin Lindberg at SRI International. It was the first of its kind.

SRI International

Why is it important?

It is very important today because these are all of the layouts of the computers that we use today to do everything. On our phones, computers, etc. We use GUI's for everything electronic. (MOSTLY) The GUI has helped the world in so many different ways.

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