«… None of these concepts had originated at Xerox. Apple had also developed the original menu bar and the pull down menu, along with guidelines describing in detail how each should work. One example of this was pioneering and consistently enforcing the idea of «direct manipulation,» where users clicked to select an icon and then dragged it into a folder to move its location.
On Xerox’s Alto, clicking on graphic representations on the desktop simply resulted in a popup menu of choices. You couldn’t drag icons around. Apple’s draggable «trash can» and the idea of pulling on the corner of a window to resize it are other examples of Apple’s direct manipulation invention.
None of these concepts had originated at Xerox.
«The difference between direct and indirect manipulation—between three buttons and one button, three hundred dollars and fifteen dollars, and a roller ball supported by ball bearings and a free-rolling ball—is not trivial,» wrote Gladwell. «It is the difference between something intended for experts, which is what Xerox PARC had in mind, and something that’s appropriate for a mass audience, which is what Apple had in mind.»
Contrast the roughly $60 million ($170 million in today’s dollars) Apple reportedly invested into developing the original Lisa, along with the tens of millions in research and development that went into years of further ongoing work and logistics in building and marketing the Macintosh, with the series of multimillion dollar patent claims brought against iPod around 2005 based on somebody drawing a picture of an interface of menus. …»