Apple Lisa started in 1978 as a new project for Steve Wozniak. The idea was to make a computer advanced using a bit-slice processor, a first attempt at scalable computing.
This one, however, seems to have gotten distracted by other things and the project did not begin in earnest until early 1979. That was when Manzana hired a project leader and began hiring people to work to launch them in 1983.
This novelty received its name from the daughter of Steve Jobs, Lisa, although he denied the connection and his paternity. But the most interesting thing about the computer Lisa was how it became unique: it was the first personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse.
In a nutshell, this refers to a visual environment of images and objects through which a machine and a user interact. However, its unfortunate price tag of nearly $10,000 doomed it from the start.
The release of Lisa in 1983
“January 19, 1983 marks the end of a long development effort to bring Lisa to market, but also the beginning of a new era in personal computing”Apple explained. “On that date, at the annual meeting of shareholders, Lisa will be officially announced with simultaneous announcements in other Apple countries around the world,” continue.
That day Apple announced the Lisa computer, which it accurately described as “revolutionary.” We are talking about an all-in-one system with a 12-inch monochrome screen with a resolution of 720 × 365 pixels. It used a Motorola 68000 CPU running at 5 MHz and had 1 MB of RAM. Lisa’s keyboard was connected with a coiled cable and a mouse was included.
The Lisa came with an operating system and an “office suite” of seven applications. He OS (Lisa OS) was multitasking and could run many programs at once. To get these features required a memory management unit (MMU) chip, but Motorola hadn’t built one yet, so Apple had to devise a solution of its own.
All of this revolutionary hardware and software was incredible, but it came at a very high cost: Lisa’s price was $9,995. This was too much for ordinary users and company directors, for whom Lisa was directed as the main target, did not want to pay so much.
Only a few thousand of these computers were sold in the first year., and the numbers didn’t increase much after that. To this we must add that it did not help that Steve Jobs was increasing the marketing of another truly revolutionary Apple computer, the Macintosh, which he claimed was just around the corner.
Why Lisa was finally such a failure?
As we have previously anticipated, and despite being one of the most advanced commercial computers at launch with a mouse and GUI, poor third-party software and an exorbitant price tag of $10,000 (over $25,000 today) led to very poor sales. low.
Lisa was retired just a few years later, and an unsold inventory of approximately 2,700 computers was buried in a Utah landfill.
Apple bet on the Apple Lisa, and lost enough to lose, but not enough to destroy the company. While Lisa may seem like a big blur between the Apple II and the Macintosh, many of the technologies developed for Lisa served to pave the way for the future of Apple and what it has become today.