The Apple LISA Author: Michael Hensel

The Apple LISA was a desktop computer, developed by Apple, aiming to replace the outdated Apple II. It was one of the first PCs to have a built in GUI. The project started in 1978 and was led by Ken Rothmuller, and later John Couch when Rothmuller was replaced.
Before the Apple LISA, almost all computers required the user to enter a command and then the computer would respond and complete the task. The LISA, however used GUI, where the user could just click an icon and a task would be executed. LISA stood for 'Local Integrated Software Architecture' and was also named after Steve Job's daughter.
In 1979, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, visited the Xerox Research Center to learn about their mouse-based GUI systems. Jobs used what he learned here to help develop the GUI for the LISA. Negotiations were made with Xerox to demonstrate the workings of their GUI so Apple could continue development.
On January 19th, 1983, the LISA was released to the public at a price of $9,995. This high price started causing problems in the success of the LISA. In fact, the LISA only sold 100,000 units due to its price, few applications and slow processing speed. Although it made strides in the field of GUI, the LISA's numerous flaws turned the project into an overall failure.
While the Apple LISA failed, Steve Jobs moved on to the Macintosh project. The Macintosh, or Mac, was meant to be a revised version of the LISA, as seen by their similar appearances. The Macintosh was cheaper than the LISA and, although it was more limited, worked better than the LISA. The final LISA product released went under the name Macintosh XL and sold better much better than the LISA.
Although the LISA was considered a failure, its advancements in GUI made it extremely beneficial in the future of computers and Apple's following products. The LISA included many features that Macintosh models would not use until later on. The LISA was still able to leave its mark on history for implementing features no other PC could. Overall, Apple's LISA was a beneficial failure that advanced the world of PCs.


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