The Evolution of the Desktop GUI

From the first graphical user interface developed by Xerox in 1981 to the tablet-like, touch-screen interfaces of Mac OS X Lion and Windows 8, the tools to navigate a computer desktop have gone through drastic changes over the years. Let's take a trip down desktop memory lane.
  • 1 of 19

Xerox Star GUI -- 1981

After building and designing personal computers throughout the '70s, Xerox had a breakthrough in 1981 when it unveiled Star, the first system that integrated desktop computing with various technologies that are now commonplace: a bitmapped display, a GUI (graphical user interface), icons, folders, a mouse, Ethernet networking, file servers, print servers and e-mail.

Star was ahead of its time and not commercially successful, but it was incredibly influential, setting the standard for GUIs to come from Microsoft, Apple and Sun, among others.

Return to slideshow
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies