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.