Xerox’s Donation of PARC Sparks Mixed Reactions. (legendary Palo Alto Research Center)

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Date: Wednesday February 28, 2024 04:44:16 pm
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    Xerox’s Donation of PARC Sparks Mixed Reactions.
    (legendary Palo Alto Research Center)

    Xerox, the American multinational corporation best known for its printers and copiers, announced on April 24, 2024, that it is donating its legendary Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to SRI International, a non-profit scientific research institute. The move was intended to allow Xerox to focus on its core print, digital and IT services, while allowing PARC to continue developing pioneering technologies under SRI’s umbrella.
    Xerox PARC: The minds behind the GUI, Ethernet, Laser Printing, and Much More - YouTube

    PARC, founded in 1970 as a division of Xerox, is widely regarded as one of the most influential research and development labs in the history of computing and engineering. PARC is credited with inventing or developing many breakthroughs, such as the graphical user interface, the mouse, the laser printer, the Ethernet, the personal computer, and the internet protocol suite. PARC has also spun off several successful companies, such as Adobe, 3Com, and Palo Alto Networks.

    However, Xerox has also been criticized for failing to capitalize on PARC’s innovations, and for losing its competitive edge in the market. Xerox has faced financial and operational challenges in recent years, as it struggled to adapt to the changing demands and preferences of its customers. Xerox has also been involved in a series of lawsuits, acquisitions, and restructuring plans, which have affected its reputation and performance.

    The donation of PARC to SRI has sparked mixed reactions from the critics, the media, and the public. Some praised the move as a way to free PARC from Xerox’s constraints, and to enable Xerox to focus on its core businesses. They also expressed optimism that SRI, which has a similar track record of innovation and impact, would be a suitable partner and steward for PARC. SRI, founded in 1946 as Stanford Research Institute, is known for its contributions to fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, education, and national security. SRI has also created several spin-offs, such as Siri, Nuance, and Intuitive Surgical.

    Others lamented the end of an era for Xerox and PARC, and questioned Xerox’s ability to monetize and leverage PARC’s innovations. They also expressed concern that the donation would diminish PARC’s autonomy, creativity, and culture, and that it would affect the quality and direction of its research. They also wondered whether SRI would be able to maintain and support PARC’s vision and mission, and whether it would be able to collaborate and compete with other research institutions and companies.

    As part of the donation, Xerox will enter into a preferred research agreement, called the Technology Exploration and Innovation Program, in which SRI will provide contracted research and development services to Xerox and its clients. The agreement will also allow Xerox to access and license PARC’s intellectual property and technologies. Xerox and SRI said that they expect the donation and the agreement to benefit both parties, as well as the broader scientific and technological community.

    The donation of PARC to SRI is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. The terms of the donation were not disclosed.
    PARC (company) - Wikipedia

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