Xerox Unveils Multipurpose Personal Information System
New York -- April 27, 1981 -- A personal information system for business professionals that combines computing, text editing, graphics creation and communications was announced and demonstrated here today by Xerox Corporation.
The Xerox 8010 Star information system includes a two-page desktop display, a keyboard, a small processor and an unusual control device. No special skills are needed to use the equipment, the company said.
David E. Liddle, vice president, Office Products Division, said the Star system "is specifically designed for the business professional, whose main job is to create, interpret, and manage information and distribute the results to others in a convenient form."
With the new system, these professionals can create, modify, store, and retrieve text, graphics, and records. They can also distribute documents via electronic mail to local and remote system users on Xerox Ethernet local area communications networks.
"We believe the Star system will help professional people do creative work more easily and will significantly improve their productivity in the process," Liddle said. "And since professional salaries account for the major share of office costs, even modest productivity improvements in this area could substantially increase a company's profit margins."
Liddle said the Star system is unique because of the breadth of functions available in a single machine and because technical skills are not required to use it. The display screen shows familiar office objects such as documents, folders, file drawers, and "in" baskets as recognizable images. In laboratory tests at Xerox, professionals could identify most of the system's functions on seeing it for the first time just by looking at the screen.
Most of the Star functions are available to the user by selection -- simply by moving a pointer and pressing a key. The professional doesn't have to remember commands or type them in.
The Star system is the latest addition to the company's 8000 series of network system products that include electronic files, printers and communications units. The 8000 products, announced last November, also are designed to operate on the Xerox Ethernet network.
The Ethernet network links equipment within an office and between offices. It can carry information from one location to another at rates up to a million characters per second, the equivalent of about 300 pages of text.
Users of the Star system are, typically, those people whose job functions fit between upper level management and clerical-secretarial operation. They include engineers, analysts, personnel and production specialists, librarians, economists, administrators and many others who deal with the preparation and content of information.
The Star system, together with other network equipment, gives the user control of the preparation, composition and distribution of the finished product. With the system, a professional would not need the help of others for typesetting, page layout, printing, filing, mailing or simple graphics.
A user of the Star system has a variety of type faces and sizes to choose from, as well as graphics symbols such as lines in different widths. A financial analyst might type or modify a few sentences of text, then create a table and direct the Star system to prepare a bar graph based on the table entries. The graph will appear on the screen and the text will automatically make room for the illustration.
Whatever is created on the screen can be transferred to any Star system or other 8000 equipment on any Ethernet network just by moving the pointer and pressing a key. And any image on the screen can be exactly reproduced on an electronic printer nearby, or printers in other offices or other cities using the networks.
A Star system also can communicate with a large computer, as well as handling locally such data processing as information extraction and sorting.
Self-training programs are provided with the equipment. An introductory session takes about four hours and teaches the user the basic functions. Advanced training is provided by other self-training programs, chosen according to the user's needs and interest.
Purchase price of the Xerox 8010 Star information system in the United States is $16,595, including the basic software. It can be rented for $695 a month on a one-year lease. Some software is priced separately.
Deliveries in 32 metropolitan areas in the U.S. will begin in September of this year. An enhanced customer programming language for automatic updating of records and reports, and additional software, will be available next year.
CONTACT -- Bill Rolph of Xerox at 213-536-9129
COPYRIGHT 1981 PR Newswire Association, Inc.