40 years of icons: the evolution of the modern computer interface

Jesse Hicks on the history of the GUI:

“The Alto cemented some aspects, but the Xerox Star was where it all came together,” says Bruce Dormer, a user interface expert who maintains a collection of vintage computers at the Digibarn. “That’s where you had something that looked beautiful and was functional. It was a complete system launched in April 1981. Everyone looked at that like, ‘Oh my god, this is like a spaceship from the future that has just landed on the front lawn.’” Microsoft was one early customer.