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Definition: Xerox Star

The workstation from Xerox that introduced the graphical user interface and desktop metaphor in 1981. The Star was designed to work in an Ethernet network connected to other workstations along with a file and print server. Approximately 30,000 Star workstations were sold.

Astounding people who were given demos, the Star's user interface was the inspiration for Xerox's subsequent computers and Apple's Lisa and Mac. All graphical user interfaces (GUIs) today owe their roots to Xerox. See Alto, Lisa and Mac computer.

The Star User Interface
The Star's simulated desktop is amazingly similar to the Mac and Windows, because that is where they both came from. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto Research Center.)