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The Macintosh mainly Mac since  is a family of personal computers designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Inc. The original Macintosh is the first successful mass-market all-in-one desktop personal computer to have featured a graphical user interface, built-in screen, and mouse. Early Macintosh models were relatively expensive,  hindering competitiveness in a market dominated by the much cheaper Commodore 64 for consumers, as well as the IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market for businesses,  although they were less expensive than the Xerox Alto and other computers with graphical user interfaces that predated the Mac, except Atari ST.
Macintosh systems were successful in education and desktop publishing, making Apple the second-largest PC manufacturer for the next decade. However, the introduction of Windows 3. Even after the transition to the superior PowerPC -based Power Macintosh line in the mids, the falling prices of commodity PC components, poor inventory management with the Macintosh Performa , and the release of Windows 95 contributed to continued decline of the Macintosh user base. Upon his return to the company, Steve Jobs led Apple to consolidate the complex line of nearly twenty Macintosh models in mid including models made for specific regions down to four in mid the Power Macintosh G3 , iMac G3 , All four products were critically and commercially successful due to their high performance, competitive prices, and aesthetic designs, and helped return Apple to profitability.
Around this time, Apple phased out the Macintosh name in favor of “Mac”, a nickname that had been in common use since the development of the first model. After their transition to Intel processors in , the complete lineup was Intel-based.
Apple has developed a series of Macintosh operating systems. Apple does not license macOS for use on non-Apple computers, however, System 7 was licensed to various companies through Apple’s Macintosh clone program from to The current version is macOS Monterey , first released on June 7, Volunteer communities have customized Intel-based macOS to run illicitly on non-Apple computers.
The Macintosh family of computers has used a variety of different CPU architectures since its introduction. Originally they used the Motorola series of microprocessors. In the mids they transitioned to PowerPC processors, and again in the mids they began to use and bit Intel x86 processors. The Macintosh project began in the year when Jef Raskin , an Apple employee, envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer.
The request was denied, forcing Apple to eventually buy the rights to use this name. The basic layout of the Lisa was largely complete by , at which point Jobs’s continual suggestions for improvements led to him being kicked off the project.
The design at that time was for a low-cost, easy-to-use machine for the average consumer. Instead of a GUI, it intended to use a text-based user interface that allowed several programs to be running and easily switched between, and special command keys on the keyboard that accessed standardized commands in the programs.
Raskin was authorized to start hiring for the project in September ,  and he immediately asked his long-time colleague, Brian Howard, to join him. In that same interview, Wozniak said that the original Macintosh “failed” under Jobs and that it was not until Jobs left that it became a success. He attributed the eventual success of the Macintosh to people like John Sculley “who worked to build a Macintosh market when the Apple II went away”.
Bud Tribble, a member of the Mac team, was interested in running the Apple Lisa ‘s graphical programs on the Macintosh and asked Smith whether he could incorporate Lisa’s microprocessor into the Mac while still keeping the production cost down.
Smith’s design used fewer RAM chips than the Lisa, which made the production of the board significantly more cost-efficient. Although there were no memory slots, its RAM was expandable to kB by means of soldering sixteen IC sockets to accept kb RAM chips in place of the factory-installed chips. The final product’s screen was a 9-inch 23 cm , x pixel monochrome display, exceeding the size of the planned screen. Burrell’s innovative design, combining the low production cost of an Apple II with the computing power of Lisa’s Motorola CPU, began to receive Jobs’s attentions.
Stating that they and another computer “are all scheduled to be ready for release within a year”, it described McIntosh as a portable computer with the and KB memory, and possibly battery-powered. Raskin left the team in over a personality conflict with Jobs. After development had completed, team member Andy Hertzfeld said that the final Macintosh design is closer to Jobs’s ideas than Raskin’s. Jobs commissioned industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger to work on the Macintosh line, resulting in the “Snow White” design language ; although it came too late for the earliest Macs, it was implemented in most other mid- to lates Apple computers.
In Regis McKenna was brought in to shape the marketing and launch of the Macintosh. Two days after “” aired, the Macintosh went on sale, and came bundled with two applications designed to show off its interface: MacWrite and MacPaint.
It was first demonstrated by Steve Jobs in the first of his famous Mac keynote speeches, and though the Mac garnered an immediate, enthusiastic following, some labeled it a mere “toy. This was a time-consuming task that many software developers chose not to undertake, and could be regarded as a reason for an initial lack of software for the new system.
Infamous for insulting its own potential customers, the ad was not successful. While , people participated, dealers disliked the promotion, the supply of computers was insufficient for demand, and many were returned in such a bad condition that they could no longer be sold. Only about ten applications including MacWrite and MacPaint were widely available,  although many non-Apple software developers participated in the introduction and Apple promised that 79 companies including Lotus, Digital Research , and Ashton-Tate were creating products for the new computer.
After one year for each computer, the Macintosh had less than one-quarter of the PC’s software selection—including one word processor, two databases, and one spreadsheet—although Apple had sold , Macintoshes compared to IBM’s first-year sales of fewer than , PCs. Although Macintosh excited software developers— Doug Carlston said that Broderbund programmers fought over their Macintosh while PCjr was “in some closet”  —they were required to learn how to write software that used the graphic user interface,  and early in the computer’s history needed a Lisa 2 or Unix system to write Macintosh software.
Until third-party Pascal compilers appeared, developers had to write software in other languages while still learning enough Pascal to understand Inside Macintosh. Its beige case consisted of a 9 in 23 cm CRT monitor and came with a keyboard and mouse. A handle built into the top of the case made it easier for the computer to be lifted and carried.
This was synonymous with the release of the iconic TV Advertisement by Apple. This model and the k released in September of the same year had signatures of the core team embossed inside the hard plastic cover and soon became collector pieces.
In the combination of the Mac, Apple’s LaserWriter printer, and Mac-specific software like Boston Software’s MacPublisher and Aldus PageMaker enabled users to design, preview, and print page layouts complete with text and graphics—an activity to become known as desktop publishing. Initially, desktop publishing was unique to the Macintosh, but eventually became available for other platforms. The Macintosh’s minimal memory became apparent, even compared with other personal computers in , and could not be expanded easily.
It also lacked a hard disk drive or the means to easily attach one. Many small companies sprang up to address the memory issue. Suggestions revolved around either upgrading the memory to KB or removing the computer’s 16 memory chips and replacing them with larger-capacity chips, a tedious and difficult operation. It also featured a SCSI parallel interface, allowing up to seven peripherals—such as hard drives and scanners—to be attached to the machine.
Its floppy drive was increased to an kB capacity. The Mac Plus was an immediate success and remained in production, unchanged, until October 15, ; on sale for just over four years and ten months, it was the longest-lived Macintosh in Apple’s history  until the 2nd generation Mac Pro that was introduced on December 19, , surpassed this record on September 18, In September Apple introduced the Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop, or MPW , an application that allowed software developers to create software for Macintosh on Macintosh, rather than cross compiling from a Lisa.
In August , Apple unveiled HyperCard and MultiFinder , which added cooperative multitasking to the operating system. Apple began bundling both with every Macintosh. Among the many innovations in Color QuickDraw were the ability to handle any display size, any color depth, and multiple monitors.
The Macintosh II marked the start of a new direction for the Macintosh, as now for the first time it had an open architecture with several NuBus expansion slots, support for color graphics and external monitors, and a modular design similar to that of the IBM PC. It had an internal hard drive and a power supply with a fan, which was initially fairly loud.
For this reason, Apple recommended users bring their SE to an authorized Apple dealer to have upgrades performed. In Apple spun off its software business as Claris. To provide a complete office suite, Claris purchased the rights to the Informix Wingz spreadsheet program on the Mac, renaming it Claris Resolve , and added the new presentation software Claris Impact.
By the early s, Claris applications were shipping with the majority of consumer-level Macintoshes and were extremely popular. In Claris released ClarisWorks , which soon became their second best-selling application.
In Apple sued Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard on the grounds that they infringed Apple’s copyrighted GUI, citing among other things the use of rectangular, overlapping, and resizable windows. After four years, the case was decided against Apple, as were later appeals. With the new Motorola processor came the Macintosh IIx in , which had benefited from internal improvements, including an on-board MMU. System 7 was the first Macintosh operating system to support bit addressing.
The third version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 3. While the Macintosh was still mainly regarded as superior to Windows at the time, by this point, Windows “was good enough for the average user”. Finally, there was a component shortage that rocked the exponentially-expanding PC industry in , forcing Apple USA head Allan Loren to cut prices, which dropped Apple’s margins. In response, Apple introduced a range of relatively inexpensive Macs in October The Macintosh Classic , essentially a less expensive version of the Macintosh SE, was the least expensive Mac offered until early Apple improved Macintosh computers by introducing models equipped with newly available processors from the 68k lineup.
Apple released its first portable computer, the Macintosh Portable in Although due to considerable design issues, it was soon replaced in with the first of the PowerBook line: the PowerBook , a miniaturized portable; the 16 MHz PowerBook ; and the 25 MHz PowerBook As for Mac OS, System 7 introduced a form of virtual memory , improved the performance of color graphics, and gained standard co-operative multitasking.
Also during this time, the Macintosh began to shed the “Snow White” design language , along with the expensive consulting fees they were paying to Frog design. Apple instead brought the design work in-house by establishing the Apple Industrial Design Group , which took on responsibility for crafting a new look for all Apple products. Intel had tried unsuccessfully to push Apple to migrate the Macintosh platform to Intel chips. Apple concluded that Intel’s complex instruction set computer CISC architecture ultimately would be unable to compete against reduced instruction set computer RISC processors.
In late , as the higher-end Macintosh desktop lineup transitioned to the ‘, Apple was unable to offer the ‘ in their top-of-the-line PowerBooks until early with the PowerBook series , several years after the first powered IBM compatible laptops hit the market which cost Apple considerable sales.
In Intel rolled out the Pentium processors as the successor to the , but the Motorola was never released, leaving the Macintosh platform one CPU generation behind. Notwithstanding these technical and commercial successes on the Macintosh, the falling costs of components made IBM PC compatibles cheaper and accelerated their adoption, over Macintosh systems that remained fairly expensive.
A successful price war initiated by Compaq vaulted them from third place to first among PC manufacturers in , overtaking a struggling IBM and relegating Apple to third place. Furthermore, Apple had created too many similar models that confused potential buyers. At one point, its product lineup was subdivided into Classic, LC, II, Quadra, Performa , and Centris models, with essentially the same computer being sold under a number of different names.
This succeeded in increasing the Macintosh’s market share somewhat and provided cheaper hardware for consumers, but hurt Apple financially as existing Apple customers began to buy cheaper clones which cannibalized the sales of Apple’s higher-margin Macintosh systems, while Apple continued to bear the burden of developing Mac OS. Apple’s market share further struggled due to the release of the Windows 95 operating system, which unified Microsoft’s formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products.
Windows 95 significantly enhanced the multimedia ability and performance of IBM PC compatible computers and brought the abilities of Windows substantially nearer to parity with Mac OS. This maneuver effectively ended the clone lines, as Apple had only licensed System 7 to clone manufacturers, not Mac OS 8.
In September Apple extended Umax’s license allowing them to sell clones with Mac OS 8, the only clone maker to do so, but with the restriction that they only sell low-end systems. In Apple introduced its new iMac which, like the original K Mac, was an all-in-one computer. Its translucent plastic case, originally Bondi blue and later various additional colors, is considered an industrial design landmark of the late s.
The iMac proved to be phenomenally successful, with , units sold in days.
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