Milestone Celebration: 40 Years of Macintosh Innovation

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Forty years ago, on January 24, 1984, Apple released the Macintosh, a product that changed the world. Without the Macintosh, there would be no Apple Vision Pro or a trillion-dollar company. Back in the 1980s, there was uncertainty about the uses of computers, with some questionable claims such as using them for taxes and recipes. The Macintosh, despite being far from fully functional, was unveiled by Steve Jobs at a historic event — the Flint Center in De Anza College, Cupertino. Although the Macintosh looked primitive in today’s context, in 1984, it was seen as the future. There was a common reaction among the first users who were delighted and impressed with how the device made sense and was easy to use.

Steve Jobs and then-CEO John Sculley had different outlooks regarding the Mac’s marketing and development, which eventually led to the parting of ways in 1985. It was revealed that Jobs mandated the Mac to not have traditional keys for moving around the screen, forcing users to adopt the use of a mouse. This decision led to the creation of the 56-key keyboard and the integration of the mouse into the computer. The Mac’s name, as well as the design of its mouse, was credited to a colleague, Jef Raskin.

Raskin’s original ideas for the Mac were later developed and altered by Jobs, who had more influence after being removed from the team working on the Apple Lisa. Ultimately, the delay and increase in price from Raskin’s original proposal were mainly attributed to Jobs and Sculley.

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