It's true that Apple took the technologies developed at Xerox PARC and was the first to make them useable by common people - not just techies. Microsoft basically copied them in their design for Windows 95, it had a similar layout to the Mac OS of 1990. I know this as I used Apple's OS in my college computer lab in both 1990 and 1991 and found it very easy to use. The PC form factor has essentially not changed since Xerox PARC - it still has a PC tower, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Apple went with 1 button mice and Microsoft went with 2 button mice for the most part. You're also right that the innovation by Apple has driven the development of both PC hardware and operating systems more than any other company. Personally, I think it was a very smart move for Apple to go with a Unix kernel for their OS, as it makes it extremely stable. Microsoft should do the same, in my view. Finally, only time will tell if Apple can maintain their momentum in the post Steve Jobs era.
Keep Up with TechRepublic