Author Topic: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???  (Read 3553 times)

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Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2019, 09:41:47 am »
… but I think Windows 1x existed before GEM.

GEM (released Feb 1985) predated Win 1 (Nov 1985) by a few months.

Walking back, you have Apple Mac, then Apple Lisa, X-Windows on Unix systems, then you get to pretty much the first commercial GUI which was Metaphor Systems (1982)

From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2019, 10:32:00 am »
… but I think Windows 1x existed before GEM.

GEM (released Feb 1985) predated Win 1 (Nov 1985) by a few months.

Walking back, you have Apple Mac, then Apple Lisa, X-Windows on Unix systems, then you get to pretty much the first commercial GUI which was Metaphor Systems (1982)

From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
Control Data didn't demo the touchscreen in 1972. The correct attribution would be the University of Illinois CERL labs, run by Don Bitzer. CERL also developed the plasma graphics panel that the touch screen was designed for. CDC bought commercial rights from them in 1976 if I remember correctly.

Most people can be forgiven for not remembering the Apple Lisa. There were never that many of them, being commercially eclipsed by the Apple Mac the next year. I can only think of one person I knew that owned one.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2019, 12:36:28 am »
 I don't recall anyone I knew owning a Lisa, but they were on display at the Hess department store near me. It looked interesting, but then I would see the price tag. Given a TRS-80 Modle 1 was out of reach for me, the Lisa certainly was.

 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2019, 01:02:27 am »
My recollection is that everyone (Apple, Microsoft, GEOS) were all based on the Xerox ideas and developed nearly in the same time frame.

I'm pretty sure Apple was the first one to implement Xerox ideas on a personal computer, and the others followed. As I've read, despite innovative and visionary ideas, Xerox was having a hard time getting people interested in their GUI systems. Contrary to what has been sometimes said, Apple didn't steal anything from Xerox. Xerox executives at the time decided to actively transfer the concepts to Apple because they were not seeing any future of those for Xerox itself.


 

Offline coppice

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2019, 02:35:19 am »
My recollection is that everyone (Apple, Microsoft, GEOS) were all based on the Xerox ideas and developed nearly in the same time frame.

I'm pretty sure Apple was the first one to implement Xerox ideas on a personal computer, and the others followed. As I've read, despite innovative and visionary ideas, Xerox was having a hard time getting people interested in their GUI systems. Contrary to what has been sometimes said, Apple didn't steal anything from Xerox. Xerox executives at the time decided to actively transfer the concepts to Apple because they were not seeing any future of those for Xerox itself.
I think Xerox was only struggling to get people to take their cost performance balance seriously. Apple had the same problem. The Lisa was unaffordable and a dismal failure. The Macintosh started with a price target, and they built the best thing they could within that price target. The first Mac also didn't take the world by storm, as its functionality was so badly compromised to meet its price target. The thing that made the GUI world take off was not Apple, but components getting cheaper and more powerful.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2019, 10:51:38 am »
The Macintosh started with a price target, and they built the best thing they could within that price target. The first Mac also didn't take the world by storm, as its functionality was so badly compromised to meet its price target.
The original 128K Mac was so compromised that it could not support its own development environment. Software for it had to be built on a Lisa!
As you say, downward trends in component prices (especially DRAM) enabled more powerful machines that were eminently useful. The "Fat Mac" (512K RAM) came out a year later and was able to run developer tools.
 

Online CatalinaWOW

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2019, 11:34:05 am »
While stolen is a strong word, ideas flowed freely back and forth among these early leaders.  And the lawyers did their best to nail down IP rights.  Remember all the arguments about overlapping vs non-overlapping windows, nesting windows vs non-nesting and other such minutia?  The whole concept of "obvious to a practitioner of the art" seems extremely murky to the legal profession.

I actually liked GEM better than the Mac128, but GEM died almost before it got started.
 

Online andersm

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2019, 07:31:54 pm »
From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad: 1963. The program ran on a Lincoln TX-2.


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