Xerox Star

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The Star workstation, officially known as the Xerox 8010 Information System, was introduced by Xerox Corporation in 1981. It was the first commercial system to incorporate various technologies that today have become commonplace in personal computers, including a bitmapped display, a window-based graphical user interface, icons, folders, mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail.

The name "Star" technically refers only to the software sold with the system for the office automation market. The 8010 workstations were also sold with LISP- and Smalltalk-based software, for the smaller research and software development market.



The Xerox Alto

The Xerox Star systems concept owes much to the Xerox Alto, an experimental workstation designed by the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Although by 1979 nearly 1000 Ethernet-linked Altos were in use at Xerox and another 500 at collaborating universities and government offices,[1] it was never intended to be a commercial product.[2] While Xerox had started in 1977 a development project which worked to incorporate those innovations into a commercial product, their concept was an integrated document preparation system, centered around the (then expensive) laser printing technology and oriented towards large corporations and their trading partners. When that system was announced in 1981,[1] the cost was about $75,000 for a basic system, and $16,000 for each additional workstation.

The Xerox Star development process

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