Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore predicted the doubling of the number of transistor on a single chip every two years, which became known as “Moore’s Law”, and this trend has roughly held for over 30 years thanks to advancing manufacturing processes and microprocessor designs.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Possibly the most significant of those shifts was the invention of the graphical user interface, and the mouse as a way of controlling it. Doug Engelbart and his team at the Stanford Research Lab developed the first mouse, and a graphical user interface, demonstrated in 1968. They were just a few years short of the beginning of the personal computer revolution sparked by the Altair 8800 so their idea didn’t take hold.
Instead it was picked up and improved upon by researchers at the Xerox PARC research center, which in 1973 developed Xerox Alto, the first computer with a mouse-driven GUI. It never became a commercial product, however, as Xerox management wasn’t ready to dive into the computer market and didn’t see the potential of what they had early enough.
It took Steve Jobs negotiating a stocks deal with Xerox in exchange for a tour of their research center to finally bring the user friendly graphical user interface, as well as the mouse, to the masses. Steve Jobs was shown what Xerox PARC team had developed, and directed Apple to improve upon it. In 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh, the first mass-market computer with a graphical user interface and a mouse.
Microsoft later caught on and produced Windows, and the historic competition between the two companies started, resulting in improvements to the graphical user... [continues]
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