Apple's Lisa operating system will be available to all in 2018, as it's set to be made open source.
The best part is it's going to be a free download, and it won't hold users back by nearly $10,000, the original price tag a Lisa computer had when it was first released.
Lisa OS Returns
Back in January 1983, Apple launched one of the first computers with a graphical user interface or GUI called Lisa.
Fast-forward to 2018, the Computer History Museum will release the code for free, giving users everywhere a chance to take it out for a spin.
"Just wanted to let everyone know the sources to the OS and applications were recovered, I converted them to Unix end of line conventions and spaces for Pascal tabs after recovering the files using Disk Image Chef, and they are with Apple for review. After that's done, CHM will do an @CHM blog post about the historical significance of the software and the code that is cleared for release by Apple will be made available in 2018," Al Kossow, the museum's software curator, said in a Google Group post, adding that the American Heritage Dictionary for Lisa Write's spell checker is the only one that won't be included.
Lisa: The Pivotal Flop
Technophiles at the time know Lisa was far from a success. For starters, it cost way too much, about $10,000 back then — approximately $24,700 when adjusted for inflation, according to Saving.org. More than that, IBM was selling more affordable devices at the time, so competition was tough.
After three years since it rolled out, it was scrapped, managing to sell only roughly 10,000 units. However, it played an important part in the company's history.
John Sculley was the CEO of Apple and kicked out Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who was working on the Lisa. This led to Jobs leaving the company and starting up NeXT Computer, which the Cupertino brand eventually bought in 1996. Jobs then became the CEO of Apple in 1997, and the rest is history.
On an interesting note, Lisa was initially believed to stand for "Local Integrated System Architecture," but Jobs soon revealed to his biographer Walter Isaacson that it was actually named after his eldest daughter, Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs.
Incidentally, the commercials for the Lisa computer and the first Macintosh released in 1984 paint clear representations of the comparison between the two — the former, which stars Kevin Costner, basically says that a $10,000 machine will make users productive that they'll have time for breakfast, and it pales in comparison to Ridley Scott's Macintosh Super Bowl ad.
Check them out below: