A popular model of computer made by Apple Computer. Introduced in 1984, the Macintosh features a graphical user interface (GUI)
that utilizes windows, icons, and a mouse to make it relatively easy for novices to use the computer productively. Rather than learning a complex set of commands, you need only point to a selection on a menu and click a mouse button.
Moreover, the GUI is embedded into the operating system. This means that all applications that run on a Macintosh computer have a similar user interface. Once a user has become familiar with one application, he or she can learn new applications relatively easily.
The Macintosh family of computers is not compatible with the IBM family of personal computers. They have different microprocessors and different file formats. This makes it difficult (though not impossible) to share data between the two types of computers.
Since the Macintosh interface's arrival on the marketplace and its enthusiastic acceptance by customers, numerous software producers have produced similar interfaces. For example, Microsoft offers a Mac-like GUI for PCs called Windows.
There are many different Macintosh models, with varying degrees of speed and power. All models are available in many different configurations¾different monitors, disk drives, and memory. All older Macintosh computers use a microprocessor from the Motorola 68000 family, but in 1994 Apple switched to the PowerPC microprocessor. PowerMacs can also run programs written for the Motorola processors.