A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if Xerox had taken advantage of the Alto Computer?. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Technology thread.
In 1979,a planned three-day visit to the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) facilities by Apple Engineers Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin was cancelled by Xerox because of new commercial restrictions of access placed on the Alto prototype computer.
Xerox take advantage of the Alto ComputerThe two companies had been discussing a proposal under which Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares (800,000 split-adjusted shares) of Apple at the pre-IPO price of $10 a share. However this deal was scuppered by PARC researcher Larry Tessler.
Developed in 1973, the Alto was the first computer to use the desktop metaphor and mouse-driven graphical user interface (GUI). Unable to position the Alto as the ground-breaking device of a new technology era, he finally managed to persuade his bone-headed bosses to see that such computers were the photocopiers of the future. The device was then placed under restricted commercial access, and the final painful steps taken in the development of a marketable product.
Editor says, in reality Apple were downtrack with the development by the time of the second visit in December 1979, and it is general considered highly unlikely that Xerox would actually have emerged as the giant of the home computer market. Larry Tessler subsequently became a senior executive at Apple. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.