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Evolution Of Operating Systems

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Evolution of Operating Systems

Xerox started everything off by creating the first personal computer, the ALTO, in 1973. However, Xerox did not release the computer because they did not think that was the direction the industry was going. This was the first of many mistakes Xerox would make in the next two decades. So, in 1975, Ed Roberts built the Altair 80800, which is largely regarded as the first PC. However, the Altair really served no real purpose.

The burning need for a PC was met in 1977, when Apple, a company formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, released it's Apple II. Now the nerds were satisfied, but that wasn't enough. In order to catapult the PC in to a big-time product, Apple needed to make it marketable to the average Joe. This was made possible by Visical, the home spread sheet.

The Apple II was now a true-blue product. In order to compete with Apple's success, IBM needed something to set its product apart from the others. So they developed a process called open architecture. Open architecture meant buying all the components separately, piecing them together, and then slapping the IBM name on it. It was quite effective. Now all IBM needed was software. Enter Bill Gates.

Gates, along with buddy Paul Allen, had started a software company called Microsoft. Gates was one of two major contenders for IBM. The other was a man named Gary Kildall. IBM came to Kildall first, but he turned them away and so they turned to Bill Gates and Microsoft.

Microsoft would continue supplying IBM with software until IBM insisted Microsoft develop Q/DOS, which was compatible only with IBM equipment. Microsoft was also engineering Windows, their own separate software, but IBM wanted Q/DOS.

By this time, PC clones were popping up all over. The most effective clone was the Compaq. Compaq introduced the first BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) chip. The spearheaded a clone market that not only used DOS, but later Windows as well, beginning the incredible success of Microsoft.

With all of these clones, Apple was in dire need of something new and spectacular. So when Steve Jobs got invited to Xerox to check out some new systems he began drooling profusely. There he saw the GUI (graphical user interface), and immediately fell in love. SO, naturally, Xerox



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