Wozniak: Original Macintosh Was a ‘Lousy Computer’

Macintosh 1984Steve Wozniak, one of the original co-founders of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), recently made an appearance at the “Further with Ford” technology conference in Dearborn, Michigan. As always, Wozniak was happy to give his uncensored opinion on events in Apple’s history that he had a privileged insider’s perspective on.

Regarding the first Macintosh computer that Steve Jobs helped to create, Wozniak stated via The Verge that, “what [Jobs] did was he made a really weak, lousy computer, to tell you truth, in the Macintosh, and still at a fairly high price. He made it by cutting the RAM down, by forcing you to swap disks here and there. It was a lousy product.”

Wozniak noted that Jobs approached the Macintosh project as an opportunity to “compete with the Lisa group that had kicked him out.” Wozniak recalled that Jobs called the Lisa group “idiots” for not keeping the price of their computer down. However, Wozniak notes that, “one megabyte of RAM back then cost 10,000 of today’s dollars,” so a computer with any significant amount of RAM was bound to be fairly expensive.

Although Jobs was determined to make the Macintosh an affordable device, “Woz” believes the end product was a “lousy computer.” He also points out that the much-improved successors to the original Macintosh were not overseen by Jobs. “[The] Macintosh failed, really hard, and who built the Macintosh into a success later on? It wasn’t Steve, he was gone. It was other people like John Sculley who worked and worked to build a Macintosh market when the Apple II went away,” stated Wozniak.

However, the affable Apple co-founder wasn’t there to only discuss Jobs’s failures.  Wozniak was quick to point out that Jobs’s brought the original GUI vision of the Lisa back to Apple when he returned from NeXT with OS X.

“When Steve Jobs was at NeXT, he was really getting his head together and taking control and becoming the person that, when he came back to Apple, you know, he was ready to really run the company and keep control of things and watch what was being done and develop new products secretly that were really incredibly great,” said Wozniak.

“[T]hat’s what makes people really love Steve Jobs to this day,” added Wozniak, “the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and how much they meant to our lives.”

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