The History of GUI Timeline
- Sketchpad is developed at MIT by Ivan Sutherland.
- The first mouse-like pointing device is created by Douglas Engelbart
at SRI International, and further developed at Xerox PARC in the 1970s.
- Alan Kay develops the concept of GUI in his dissertation research
at the University of Utah. The GUI concept is realized in his later
work at Xerox PARC.
- Bell Labs developed the first frame buffer for storing and displaying
3-bit images. The frame buffer was an essential to the bitmapped technology
of later GUIs.
- The Alto, the first computer to have a modern graphical user interface,
is born at Xerox PARC.
- Dick Shoup's "Superpaint" frame buffer application stores
it's first video image. Although most of Xerox PARC's GUI research was
on grayscale displays, Superpaint helped lead the way to color GUIs.
- Dan Ingalls at PARC invents "BitBlt", a display algorithm
that will make possible the development of such features of the modern
GUI as overlapping screen windows and pop-up menus.
- Tim Mott and Larry Tesler at PARC begin work on Gypsy, the world's
first user friendly word processing application using pop-up menus and
icons. Gypsy was later to become Microsoft Word. Larry Tesler later
moved to Apple and was one of the key members of the LISA development
- The first modern ball-mouse device is created by Ron Rider at PARC
we he was inspired to flip a trackball device upside down and use it
as a mouse.
- the first major demonstration of a graphical user interface by PARC
engineers to their colleagues on an Alto computer including icons, windows,
and pop-up menus powered by BitBLT.
- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple computer. The Apple II personal
computer does not have a GUI, but uses bitmapped raster graphics.
- The Alto personal computer and it's graphical user interface are presented
to the Xerox sales force during "Futures Day" at the Xerox
World Conference. The laser printer and computer networking are also
- The first portable personal computer, the Xerox Notetaker, is introduced
along with the Dorado.
- Steve Jobs and engineers from Apple visit Xerox PARC. They would
later incorporate much of what they saw into the design of the Lisa
- first commercial distribution of the GUI in the Xerox STAR which
introduced pointing and selection with the mouse. 9 IBM introduces it's
PC running DOS, a non-graphical, command line operating system. The
IBM PC would later be the main platform for Microsoft Windows.
- the GUI is popularized by Apple computer with the Lisa and Macintosh.
- the Macintosh becomes the first successful mass-marketed personal
computer with a GUI.
- Microsoft Windows 1.0 is developed for use on IBM PCs, does not become
popular until version 3.1
- X Windows System for Unix Workstations becomes widely available.
- IBM's Presentation Manager is released, which is intended to be a
graphics operating system replacement for DOS.
- Steve Job's new company NeXT develops NeXTStep, a GUI for it's Unix
based computers. This becomes the first to simulate a three-dimensional
screen. Later when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, NeXTStep would merge
with the Mac OS to create Mac OS X.
- Several Unix-based GUIs are introduced. These include Open Look,
by AT&T and Sun Microsystems, and Motif for the Open Software Foundation
by DEC and Hewlett-Packard. Motif's appearance is based on IBM's Presentation
- Microsoft releases Windows 3.0 developed jointly with IBM to become
an interim step to OS/2.
- OS/2 Workplace is released by IBM.
- Microsoft releases Windows 3.1.
- Microsoft releases Windows 95 which challenges IBM's OS/2 concept
- Windows NT replaces Windows 3.1 for Workgroups, a better networked,
more professional version of Windows 95.
- NeXT develops OpenStep an improved version of the NeXTStep GUI.
- Windows 98 is released which later becomes Windows Me (Millennium
Edition) in 2000.
- the iMac coupled with OS 8.5 gives the consumer market a more user
friendly computer, with easy access to the internet.
- other GUI-based operating systems are developed such as the BE OS
that is cross-platform, and operating systems for small PDA computers
such as Windows CE, the Palm OS, Apple Newton, and others.
- OS 9, the last revision of the original Mac OS is released.
- additional GUI-based operating systems are developed for web-phones,
PDA computers, and other devices.
- the optical mouse (Intelemouse Explorer) is marketed by Microsoft.
- Windows 2000 replaces Windows NT as Microsoft's high-end operating
- Apple introduces an optical mouse.
- Mac OS X (Public Beta) becomes the first major overhaul of the Mac
OS since the original.OS X combines the Mac GUl's easy of use with the
stability of the Unix platform by including elements from NeXTStep and
OpenStep, the GUIs developed by Steve Job's former company, NeXT.
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