Apple's Lisa Operating System Will Be Released For Free As Open Source In 2018




More than three decades ago, Apple unveiled the Apple Lisa, the first computer for the work place with a graphical user interface. Apple spent a reported 150 million developing the Lisa but then the computer became a great flop in the market, however, this also set the stage for conflict between CEO John Sculley and cofounder Steve Jobs.

 According to Business  Insider, LISA which stands for Local Integrated System Architecture, will soon be made available in 2018 for free as open source by the Computer History Museum and anyone can try it out, modify and even create something new as it is with other open source operating system such as Linux. The news was announced though the LisaList mailing list for Lisa enthusiasts.

The Lisa computer cost $10,000 in 1983; if you factor the inflation, it will cost $24,000. This Lisa operating system was the first OS to bring some advanced features which included protected memory, sophisticated HDD-based OS, etc. However, IBM on the other hand was offering machines that were far cheaper .


Having failed to succeed with the Lisa, Apple launched the Lisa 2 in 1984 which cost half the price of the Lisa 1, but the Lisa 2 failed the same way as its predecessor. Apple later discontinued the Lisa production after launching the Macintosh. To save cash which they would use to pay as tax write-off, in 1989 Apple buried the last 2,700 Lisa computers at landfill in Utah.

Despite Lisa not being successful, the Operating system paved way for what became possible on PC at that time -- users could sort individual documents into folders, it required a mouse to operate and also had windows and icons.

Lisa operating system was the reason while Apple sued Microsoft over the first version of Windows, with Jobs claiming that Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates stole Lisa's technology. Countering the claim, Bill said "I think it's more like we both had this rich neighbour named Xerox, and i broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it."  

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