History of macOS, Apple's current Mac

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History of macOS, Apple's current Mac operating system
The history of macOSApple's current Mac operating system originally named Mac OS X until 2012 and then OS X until 2016, began with the company's project to replace its "classic" Mac OS. That system, up to and including its final release Mac OS 9, was a direct descendant of the operating system Apple had used in its Macintosh computers since their introduction in 1984. However, the current macOS is a Unix operating system built on technology that had been developed at NeXT from the 1980s until Apple purchased the company in early 1997.

Although it was originally marketed as simply "version 10" of the Mac OS (indicated by the Roman numeral "X"), it has a completely different codebase from Mac OS 9, as well as substantial changes to its user interface. The transition was a technologically and strategically significant one. To ease the transition, versions through 10.4 were able to run Mac OS 9 and its applications in a compatibility layer.

It was first released in 1999 as Mac OS X Server 1.0, with a widely released desktop version—Mac OS X 10.0—following in March 2001. Since then, several more distinct desktop and server editions of macOS have been released. Starting with Mac OS X 10.7 LionmacOS Server is no longer offered as a separate operating system. Starting with the Intel build of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, most releases have been certified as Unix systems conforming to the Single Unix Specification.

macOS has retained the major version number 10 throughout its development history to date; releases of macOS have also been named after big cats (versions 10.0–10.8) or locations in California (10.9–present).

2.1Public Beta: "Kodiak"

    • 2.2Version 10.0: "Cheetah"

    • 2.3Version 10.1: "Puma"

    • 2.4Version 10.2: "Jaguar"

    • 2.5Version 10.3: "Panther"

    • 2.6Version 10.4: "Tiger"

    • 2.7Version 10.5: "Leopard"

    • 2.8Version 10.6: "Snow Leopard"

    • 2.9Version 10.7: "Lion"

    • 2.10Version 10.8: "Mountain Lion"

    • 2.11Version 10.9: "Mavericks"

    • 2.12Version 10.10: "Yosemite"

    • 2.13Version 10.11: "El Capitan"

    • 2.14Version 10.12: "Sierra"

The first release of the new OS — Mac OS X Server 1.0 — used a modified version of the Mac OS GUI, but all client versions starting with Mac OS X Developer Preview 3 used a new theme known as Aqua. Aqua was a substantial departure from the Mac OS 9 interface, which had evolved with little change from that of the original Macintosh operating system: it incorporated full colour scalable graphics, anti-aliasing of text and graphics, simulated shading and highlights, transparency and shadows, and animation. A key new feature was the Dock, an application launcher, which took advantage of these capabilities. Despite this, OS X maintained a substantial degree of consistency with the traditional Mac OS interface and Apple's own Apple Human Interface Guidelines, with its pull-down menu at the top of the screen, familiar keyboard shortcuts, and support for a single-button mouse. The development of Aqua was delayed somewhat by the switch from OpenStep's Display PostScript engine to one developed in-house that was free of any license restrictions, known as Quartz.
With the exception of Mac OS X Server 1.0 and the original public beta, the first several macOS versions were named after big cats. Prior to its release, version 10.0 was code named "Cheetah" internally at Apple, and version 10.1 was code named internally as "Puma". After the code name "Jaguar" for version 10.2 received publicity in the media, Apple began openly using the names to promote the operating system: 10.3 was marketed as "Panther", 10.4 as "Tiger", 10.5 as "Leopard", 10.6 as "Snow Leopard", 10.7 as "Lion", and 10.8 as "Mountain Lion". "Panther", "Tiger", and "Leopard" were registered as trademarks, and Apple registered "Lynx" and "Cougar", but these were allowed to lapse, with Apple instead using the name of iconic locations in California for subsequent releases: 10.9 was called "Mavericks", 10.10 was called "Yosemite", 10.11 was called "El Capitan", and 10.12 was called "Sierra".

Public Beta: "Kodiak"

On September 13, 2000 Apple released a $29.95 "preview" version of Mac OS X (internally codenamed Kodiak) in order to gain feedback from users. It marked the first public availability of the Aqua interface, and Apple made many changes to the UI based on customer feedback. Mac OS X Public Beta expired and ceased to function in spring 2001.

Version 10.0: "Cheetah"

On March 24, 2001, Apple released Mac OS X 10.0 (internally codenamed Cheetah). The initial version was slow, incomplete, and had very few applications available at the time of its launch, mostly from independent developers. While many critics suggested that the operating system was not ready for mainstream adoption, they recognized the importance of its initial launch as a base on which to improve. Following some bug fixes, kernel panics became much less frequent.

Version 10.1: "Puma"

Later that year on September 25, 2001, Mac OS X 10.1 (internally codenamed Puma) was released. It had better performance and provided missing features, such as DVD playback. Apple released 10.1 as a free upgrade CD for 10.0 users, in addition to the US$129 boxed version for people running Mac OS 9. It was discovered that the upgrade CDs were full install CDs that could be used with Mac OS 9 systems by removing a specific file; Apple later re-released the CDs in an actual stripped-down format that did not facilitate installation on such systems. On January 7, 2002, Apple announced that Mac OS X was to be the default operating system for all Macintosh products by the end of that month.

Version 10.2: "Jaguar"

On August 23, 2002, Apple followed up with Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, the first release to use its code name as part of the branding. It brought great raw performance improvements, a sleeker look, and many powerful user-interface enhancements (over 150, according to Apple), including Quartz Extreme for compositing graphics directly on an ATI Radeon or Nvidia GeForce2 MX AGP-based video card with at least 16 MB of VRAM, a system-wide repository for contact information in the new Address Book, and an instant messaging client named iChat. The Happy Mac which had appeared during the Mac OS startup sequence for almost 18 years was replaced with a large grey Apple logo with the introduction of Mac OS X 10.2.

Version 10.3: "Panther"

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther was released on October 24, 2003. In addition to providing much improved performance, it also incorporated the most extensive update yet to the user interface. Panther included as many or more new features as Jaguar had the year before, including an updated Finder, incorporating a brushed-metal interface, Fast user switching, Exposé (Window manager), FileVault, Safari, iChat AV (which added videoconferencing features to iChat), improved Portable Document Format(PDF) rendering and much greater Microsoft Windows interoperability. Support for some early G3 computers such as "beige" Power Macs and "WallStreet" PowerBooks was discontinued.

Version 10.4: "Tiger"

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was released on April 29, 2005. Apple stated that Tiger contained more than 200 new features. As with Panther, certain older machines were no longer supported; Tiger requires a Mac with a built-in FireWire port. Among the new features, Tiger introduced Spotlight, Dashboard, Smart Folders, updated Mail program with Smart Mailboxes, QuickTime 7, Safari 2, Automator, VoiceOver, Core Image and Core Video. The initial release of the Apple TV used a modified version of Tiger with a different graphical interface and fewer applications and services. On January 10, 2006, Apple released the first Intel-based Macs along with the 10.4.4 update to Tiger. This operating system functioned identically on the PowerPC-based Macs and the new Intel-based machines, with the exception of the Intel release dropping support for the Classic environment. Only PowerPC Macs can be booted from retail copies of the Tiger client DVD, but there is a Universal DVD of Tiger Server 10.4.7 (8K1079) that can boot both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Version 10.5: "Leopard"

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was released on October 26, 2007. It was called by Apple "the largest update of Mac OS X". Leopard supports both PowerPC- and Intel x86-based Macintosh computers; support for the G3 processor was dropped and the G4 processor required a minimum clock rate of 867 MHz, and at least 512 MB of RAM to be installed. The single DVD works for all supported Macs (including 64-bit machines). New features include a new look, an updated Finder, Time Machine, Spaces, Boot Camp pre-installed, full support for 64-bit applications (including graphical applications), new features in Mail and iChat, and a number of new security features. Leopard is an Open Brand UNIX 03 registered product on the Intel platform. It was also the first BSD-based OS to receive UNIX 03 certification. Leopard dropped support for the Classic Environment and all Classic applications, and was the final version of Mac OS X to support the PowerPC architecture.

Version 10.6: "Snow Leopard"

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was released on August 28, 2009, the last version to be available on disc. Rather than delivering big changes to the appearance and end user functionality like the previous releases of Mac OS X, the development of Snow Leopard was deliberately focused on "under the hood" changes, increasing the performance, efficiency, and stability of the operating system. For most users, the most noticeable changes are these: the disk space that the operating system frees up after a clean installation compared to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, a more responsive Finder rewritten in Cocoa, faster Time Machine backups, more reliable and user friendly disk ejects, a more powerful version of the Preview application, as well as a faster Safari web browser. An update introduced support for the Mac App Store, Apple's digital distribution platform for macOS applications and subsequent macOS upgrades. Snow Leopard only supports machines with Intel CPUs, requires at least 1 GB of RAM, and drops default support for applications built for the PowerPC architecture.

Version 10.7: "Lion"

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was released on July 20, 2011. It brought developments made in Apple's iOS, such as an easily navigable display of installed applications (Launchpad) and (a greater use of) multi-touch gestures, to the Mac. This release removed Rosetta, making it incapable of running PowerPC applications. It dropped support for 32-bit Intel processors and requires 2GB of memory. Changes made to the GUI (Graphical User Interface) include the Launchpad (similar to the home screen of iOS devices), auto-hiding scrollbars that only appear when they are being used, and Mission Control, which unifies Exposé, Spaces, Dashboard, and full-screen applications within a single interface. Apple also made changes to applications: they resume in the same state as they were before they were closed (similar to iOS). Documents auto-save by default.

Version 10.8: "Mountain Lion"

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion was released on July 25, 2012. It incorporates some features seen in iOS 5, which include Game Center, support for iMessage in the new Messages messaging application, and Reminders as a to-do list app separate from iCal (which is renamed as Calendar, like the iOS app). It also includes support for storing iWork documents in iCloud. 2GB of memory is required. Notification Center, which makes its debut in Mountain Lion, is a desktop version similar to the one in iOS 5.0 and higher. Application pop-ups are now concentrated on the corner of the screen, and the Center itself is pulled from the right side of the screen. Mountain Lion also includes more Chinese features, including support for Baidu as an option for Safari search engine.[32]

Notification Center is added, providing an overview of alerts from applications. Notes is added, as an application separate from Mail, synching with its iOS counterpart through the iCloud service. Messages, an instant messaging software application, replaces iChat.

Version 10.9: "Mavericks"

OS X 10.9 Mavericks was released on October 22, 2013, as a free update through the Mac App Store worldwide. It places emphasis on battery life, Finder enhancements, other enhancements for power users, and continued iCloud integration, as well as bringing more of Apple's iOS apps to the OS X platform. iBooks and Apple Maps applications were added. Mavericks requires 2GB of memory to operate. It is the first version named under Apple's then-new theme of places in California, dubbed Mavericks after the surfing location. Unlike previous versions of OS X, which had progressively decreasing prices since 10.6, 10.9 was available at no charge to all users of compatible systems running Snow Leopard (10.6) or later, beginning Apple's policy of free upgrades for life on its operating system and business software.

Version 10.10: "Yosemite"

OS X Yosemite was released to the general public on October 16, 2014, as a free update through the Mac App Store worldwide. It featured a major overhaul of user interface, replaced skeuomorphism with flat graphic design and blurred translucency effects, following the aesthetic introduced with iOS 7. It introduced features called Continuity and Handoff, which allow for tighter integration between paired OS X and iOS devices: the user can handle phone calls or text messages on either their Mac or their iPhone, and edit the same Pages document on either their Mac or their iPad. A later update of the OS included Photos as a replacement for iPhoto and Aperture.

Version 10.11: "El Capitan"

OS X El Capitan was revealed on June 8, 2015, during the WWDC keynote speech. It was made available as a public beta in July and was made available publicly on September 30, 2015. Apple described this release as containing "Refinements to the Mac Experience" and "Improvements to System Performance" rather than new features. Refinements include public transport built into the Maps application, GUI improvements to the Notes application, as well as adopting San Francisco as the system font. Metal API, an application enhancing software, had debuted in this operating system, being available to "all Macs since 2012".

Version 10.12: "Sierra"

macOS Sierra was revealed on June 13, 2016, during the WWDC keynote speech. It was released publicly on September 20, 2016.

Mac OS 9 was the ninth release of Apple's classic Mac OS operating system. Introduced on October 23, 1999, it was promoted by Apple as "The Best Internet Operating System Ever", highlighting Sherlock 2's Internet search capabilities, integration with Apple's free online services known as iTools and improved Open Transport networking.

Apple discontinued development of Mac OS 9 in 2001, transitioning all future development to OS X. Since that time, no updates have been released.

In May 2002, at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Steve Jobs, accompanied by a coffin, held a mock funeral[4] to announce that Apple had stopped development of Mac OS 9. Mac OS 9.2.2, released in December 2001, was the final version of Mac OS 9 and the "classic" Mac OS. In June 2005, Jobs announced that the Macintosh platform would be transitioning to Intel x86 microprocessors. Developer documentation of the Rosetta PowerPC emulation layer revealed that applications written for Mac OS 8 or 9 would not run on x86-based Macs.
Mac OS 8 is an operating system that was released by Apple Computer on July 26, 1997. It represented the largest overhaul of the classic Mac OS since the release of System 7, some six years previously. It puts more emphasis on color than previous operating systems. Released over a series of updates, Mac OS 8 was an effort to integrate many of the technologies developed for Apple's overly-ambitious operating system known as Copland. Mac OS 8 helped modernize the Mac OS while Apple developed its next generation operating system, OS X. Mac OS 8 is one of Apple's most successful software releases, selling over 1.2 million copies in the first two weeks.
The "Classic" Mac OS is a graphical user interface-based operating system developed by Apple Inc. for its Macintosh line of personal computers from 1984 until 2001, the original member of the family of Macintosh operating systems. The Macintosh platform, which was introduced in the classic Mac OS, is credited with having popularized the early GUI concept. Mac OS was preinstalled on every Macintosh computer that was made during the era it was developed; it was also sold separately in retail stores.
The Macintosh project started in late 1978 with Jef Raskin, who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. In September 1979, Raskin began looking for an engineer who could put together a prototype. 

Apple's original concept for the Macintosh deliberately sought to minimize the user's conceptual awareness of the operating system. Many basic tasks that had required more operating system knowledge on other systems could then be accomplished by mouse gestures and graphic controls on a Macintosh. This would differentiate it from its contemporaries such as MS-DOS, which use a command-line interface consisting of tersely abbreviated textual commands.

In January 1981, Steve Jobs completely took over the Macintosh project. Jobs and a number of Apple engineers visited Xerox PARC in December 1979. After hearing about the pioneering GUI technology being developed at Xerox PARC from former Xerox employees like Raskin, Jobs negotiated a visit to see the Xerox Alto computer and Smalltalk development tools in exchange for Apple stock options. The final Lisa and Macintosh operating systems use concepts from the Xerox Alto, but many elements of the graphical user interface were created by Apple including the menu bar, pull-down menus, and the concepts of drag and drop and direct manipulation.

Unlike the IBM PC, which uses 8 kB of system ROM for power-on self-test (POST) and basic input/output system (BIOS), the Mac ROM is significantly larger (64 kB) and holds key OS code. Much of the original Mac ROM was coded by Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Macintosh team. He was able to conserve precious ROM space by writing routines in assembly language code optimized with "hacks," or clever programming tricks. In addition to the ROM, he also coded the kernel, the Macintosh Toolbox, and some of the desktop accessories (DAs). The icons of the operating system, which represent folders and application software, were designed by Susan Kare, who later designed the icons for Microsoft Windows 3.0. Bruce Horn and Steve Capps wrote the Macintosh Finder, as well as a number of Macintosh system utilities.

Apple was very aggressive in advertising their new machine. After it was created, the company bought all 39 pages of advertisement space in the 1984 November/December edition of Newsweek magazine. Apple was so successful in its marketing for the Macintosh that it quickly outsold its more sophisticated predecessor, the Lisa. Apple quickly developed a product named MacWorks, which allowed the Lisa to emulate Macintosh system software through System 3, by which time it had been discontinued as the rebranded Macintosh XL. Many of Lisa's operating system advances would not appear in the Macintosh operating system until System 7 or later.

skeuomorph (/ˈskjuːəˌmɔːrf, ˈskjuːoʊ-/) is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues from structures that were necessary in the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.

Arguments in favour of skeuomorphism in the context of digital interfaces include that it makes devices easier to use for people familiar with the older devices that are imitated. Arguments against include that it takes up more screen space on digital devices, and may be more complex and more difficult to learn than a straightforward interface without it.

More recently there has been a move away from skeuomorphism, including at Apple Inc, whose operating system under the leadership of Steve Jobs formerly championed the approach.

The term 'skeuomorph' is compounded from the Greek: skéuos, σκεῦος (container or tool), and morphḗ, μορφή (shape). It has been applied to material objects since 1890 and is now also used to describe computer and mobile interfaces.

Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make a new look more familiar and comfortable, or may be the result of cultural influences and norms on the designer. They may be artistic expression on the part of the designer.

Apple Inc., while under the direction of Steve Jobs, was known for its wide usage of skeuomorphic designs in various applications.

Electric kettle in the form of a traditional stovetop kettle.


Skeuomorph of a hardware-like interface for manipulating digital audio with the Redstair GEARcompressorAudio Unit-Plugin.

Sherlock, named after Sherlock Holmes, is a file and web search tool created by Apple Inc. for the classic Mac OS and Mac OS X, introduced with Mac OS 8.5 as an extension of the Mac OS Finder's file searching capabilities. Like its predecessor, it can search for local files and file contents, which it does using the same basic indexing code and search logic found in AppleSearch. Sherlock extended the system by allowing the user to search for items through the world wide web through a set of plugins that harness existing web search engines. These plugins were written as plain text files, so that it was a simple task for a user to write a Sherlock plugin.

Sherlock was replaced by Spotlight and Dashboard in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, although Apple continued to include it with the default installation. Since most of the standard plug-ins for Sherlock provided by Apple itself no longer function, it was officially retired and removed in the release of Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard in 2007.



The Newton Crest: 1976-1976

The first Apple logo was designed in 1976 by Ronald Wayne, sometimes referred to as the third co-founder of Apple. The logo depicts Isaac Newton sitting under a tree, an apple dangling precipitously above his head. The phrase on the outside border reads, “Newton… A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … Alone.”

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Apple Inc.

pple logo black.svg

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in CupertinoCalifornia, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronicscomputer software, and online services. Its hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, and the Apple TV digital media player. Apple's consumer software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App StoreApple Music, and iCloud.

Apple was founded by Steve JobsSteve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell personal computers. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, and was renamed as Apple Inc. in January 2007 to reflect its shifted focus toward consumer electronics.

Apple is the world's largest information technology company by revenue, the world's largest technology company by total assets, and the world's second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. In November 2014, in addition to being the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization, Apple became the first U.S. company to be valued at over US$ 700 billion. The company employs 115,000 permanent full-time employees as of July 2015 and maintains 478 retail stores in seventeen countries as of March 2016. It operates the online Apple Store and iTunes Store, the latter of which is the world's largest music retailer. There are over one billion actively used Apple products worldwide as of March 2016.


NeXT, Inc. (later NeXT Computer, Inc. and NeXT Software, Inc) was an American computer company headquartered in Redwood City, California, that developed and manufactured a series of computer workstations intended for the higher education and business markets. NeXT was founded in 1985 by Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, after he was ousted at Apple, along with several co-workers. NeXT introduced the first NeXT Computer in 1988, and the smaller NeXTstation in 1990. The NeXT computers experienced relatively limited sales, with estimates of about 50,000 units shipped in total. Nevertheless, their innovative object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system and development environment were highly influential.

Apple purchased NeXT in 1997 for US$429 (equivalent to $633.45 in 2015) million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock. As part of the agreement, Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO of NeXT Software, returned to Apple, the company he had co-founded in 1976. The founder promised to merge software from NeXT with Apple's hardware platforms, eventually resulting in macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. 


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