Few people wonder why Apple chose the Motorola 68000 for the Macintosh, while IBM's decision to use Intel's 8088 for the IBM PC has baffled many. It wasn't a straightforward decision though. The Apple Lisa was the predecessor to the Macintosh, and also used a 68000. It also included a fully multitasking, GUI(Graphical User Interface) based operating system, highly integrated software, high capacity (but incompatible) 'twiggy' 5 1/4" disk drives, and a large workstation-like monitor. It was better than the Macintosh in almost every way, but was correspondingly more expensive.
The Macintosh was to include the best features of the Lisa, but at an affordable price - in fact the original Macintosh came with only 128K of RAM and no expansion slots. Cost was such a factor that the 8 bit Motorola 6809 was the original design choice, and some prototypes were built, but they quickly realised that it didn't have the power for a GUI based OS(Operating System), and they used the Lisa's 68000, borrowing some of the Lisa low level functions (such as graphics toolkit routines) for the Macintosh.[Back to Timeline]