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Tech before its time: the innovations that came too soon



The 1981 Xerox 8010 Information System, also known as the Xerox Star  workstation was revolutionary: it introduced the concept of a desktop, gave us the graphical user interface, used a two-button mouse, delivered What You See Is What You Get document editing (that we all use today to, you know, write stuff) and included Ethernet networking. 

However, it was beyond pricey: the introductory cost was $16,500 (around £12,500 / AU$20,000), which works out at around $43,000 (around £32,500 / AU$50,000) in today’s prices. And while all computers were expensive back then, the Xerox was still considerably more expensive than others – a Commodore VIC-20 was around $300 (around £225 / AU$375) 

Other firms, most notably Apple and Microsoft, would go on to emulate the Star’s interface with considerably more success, creating the operating systems we know today.



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