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Apple Mac OS X 10 Years Old Today

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 37 comments

Lion might just be the final cat.

The initial Mac OS X was the first version of a stable, UNIX-based OS that succeeded Mac OS, which was used by Apple between 1984 and 2001. Over time, Mac OS X changed quite a bit - Apple moved the architecture from PowerPC to an x86 and upgraded it from 32 to 64-bit.

Mac OS X is based on a range of technologies developed by NeXT, a company that was founded by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and bought by Apple in 1996, which was also the mark of Steve Jobs' return to Apple. Since its original launch, Apple introduced seven major versions, all of which were named after big cats (Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard). Mac OS X 10.7, code-named Lion, was first shown at an Apple event in October 2010 and will be first to include support for the Mac App Store. Lion is currently available as a developer preview.
  
The PowerPC-Intel transition, announced in June 2005, was the biggest change in the operating system's history so far - a critical move that could have alienated Apple users as Apple loved to discredit the performance of Intel processors in PCs prior to the announcement. All Mac OS X version up until Leopard (10.6) support the PowerPC architecture. Snow Leopard was the first to exclusively run on x86 processors.

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  • 2 Hide
    agnickolov , March 24, 2011 11:55 PM
    More precisely, Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD.
  • 1 Hide
    Thunderfox , March 24, 2011 11:59 PM
    Only three more releases til they have to find a new name. Maybe they can call it Mac OS XP.
  • 1 Hide
    powerpcgamer , March 25, 2011 12:04 AM
    Their OS would be this old if they adopted normal industry standards to name an OS. Call it OS XI or XII when you release a new OS. 10.1, 10.2 is an UPDATE. Get with the program Apple.
  • Display all 37 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 25, 2011 12:08 AM
    and freeBSD is based off of UNIX so you could say OSX is the most successful Unix distro for consumer's
  • 2 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 25, 2011 12:28 AM
    powerpcgamerTheir OS would be this old if they adopted normal industry standards to name an OS. Call it OS XI or XII when you release a new OS. 10.1, 10.2 is an UPDATE. Get with the program Apple.

    Why do that? 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. are essentially the same OS, just with upgrades done along the way.
    Microsoft has crazy names for Windows, like Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, etc. However, they're just upgrades to Windows NT done along the way. Ubuntu names their version numbers off of the month they are released in.

    So if you ask me, Apple has one of the more normal naming schemes than most OSs.

    BUT, having said that, I wouldn't say there is an "industry standard" to name an OS. Companies can name it whatever they want.
  • -1 Hide
    Parsian , March 25, 2011 12:31 AM
    I dont like apple but they build good products with luxurious price tags.
  • 3 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 25, 2011 1:26 AM
    Giving people a subpar OS for 10 years.

    Hated it when I had to use it for Xcode development for a semester.
  • 0 Hide
    noni675 , March 25, 2011 1:39 AM
    Apple Macintosh computers started out on Motorola's 68K processors, which transitioned to the IBM PowerPC processors, then to Intel x86 processors.

    Apple also had their own version of UNIX -- A/UX -- which could even run on a Mac II from 1987. This computer only had a 16MHz Motorola 68020 CPU and 1MB standard memory (but could go up to 128MBs), but needed a 68881 FPU for A/UX.
  • 0 Hide
    slothy89 , March 25, 2011 1:50 AM
    Small niggle.. In the second last sentence you say Leopard(10.6) was the last PPC native OSX. Leopard is not OS X 10.6... lol.. Try 10.5 :) 

    For a 10 year old OS, it has done amazingly well.

    The guy who said windows is a rehash of NT, yes it was, until Vista, which they totally re-engineered. XP was the last true NT based windows.
  • -2 Hide
    alidan , March 25, 2011 2:38 AM
    Ragnar-KonWhy do that? 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. are essentially the same OS, just with upgrades done along the way.Microsoft has crazy names for Windows, like Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, etc. However, they're just upgrades to Windows NT done along the way. Ubuntu names their version numbers off of the month they are released in.So if you ask me, Apple has one of the more normal naming schemes than most OSs.BUT, having said that, I wouldn't say there is an "industry standard" to name an OS. Companies can name it whatever they want.


    great point, but dont put vista, 7, and xp in the same catagory

    xp is great
    vista was a major step back
    7 was what vista was supost to be, and i hate everything about it.

    still use xp, and passing on vista and 7, because i hate them with a passion
  • 0 Hide
    lsc , March 25, 2011 3:06 AM
    Ragnar-KonWhy do that? 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. are essentially the same OS, just with upgrades done along the way.Microsoft has crazy names for Windows, like Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, etc. However, they're just upgrades to Windows NT done along the way. Ubuntu names their version numbers off of the month they are released in.So if you ask me, Apple has one of the more normal naming schemes than most OSs.BUT, having said that, I wouldn't say there is an "industry standard" to name an OS. Companies can name it whatever they want.


    Here's my gripe for the different versions of 10.1 to 10.6. While the user's interface looks similar, each iteration has lots of application incompatibilities and they constantly change their framework. The growing pains of unix like repositories existed very much along with OS X, having need new binaries after each kernal upgrade. Basically programs that work in 10.3 might work in 10.2, but will not work in 10.1. For open source software, you can just recompile them, but lots of binaries needed an upgrade, fix, or patch. Only recently it's been less painful, like 10.5 to 10.6 which is like a service pack release. When they dumped PPC to Intel, all hell broke loose for me, the 10.3 to 10.5 era. Because of this, I don't really believe in a true 10 years of OS X like WinXP due to migration pains.
  • 1 Hide
    tacoslave , March 25, 2011 4:55 AM
    i always liked vista never bluescreened, never ran slow( and i was running a pentium dual core @1.8 ghz and 2gb of ram)still running vista actually but now i overclocked to 3.6ghz and threw 4gb of ram and a 6850 and still feeling fresh. Maybe its because its fashionable to dis Vista and love 7 because to me neither seems faster (i triple boot ubuntu,7, and Vista(main).
  • -1 Hide
    stm1185 , March 25, 2011 6:13 AM
    I wonder how many days after Steve Jobs dies it will be till OSX is released for all X86 systems and not just ones built by Apple.
  • 0 Hide
    mj4358 , March 25, 2011 8:25 AM
    That would suck if Apple released it for all generic PC makers to use.
  • 1 Hide
    dbfm , March 25, 2011 10:26 AM
    Why? Why would that suck?

    How could it be a bad thing for Windows to have some real competition in the mainstream desktop OS space?
  • 0 Hide
    mj4358 , March 25, 2011 10:54 AM
    True windows would have competition....but it would be at the expense of quality for OSX. Dell, HP, will add their crapware to it which will cause problems and crashes that will be blamed on Apple by the consumer. Besides the OS and Hardware combo are what gives Apple its advantage in stability. Besides I seriously doubt Dell and HP will want to use hardware mandated by Apple.
    The only reason I buy Apple products is because of the OS and hardware combo. I know it will work. I dont have to trouble shoot every other day and I can treat my computer like an appliance that does what I need it to do with minimal maintenace by me.
    Everyone always pushes market share and competition....but the way I see; what for? Windows users will use windows because they think they are getting work done that cant be done on a Mac or OSX. And Apple users will buy Macs because we like the ease of use and functionality.
  • 0 Hide
    dbfm , March 25, 2011 11:37 AM
    I don't think allowing it to run on any old hardware would have any impact on the quality of OSX. If you didn't want the crapware, you could still pay the premium prices and buy an Apple.

    The majority of ordinary people use Windows because that's what they have, not because they like it particularly. I don't see how creating more choice would devalue or remove any of the options that are currently available...despite what Mr Jobs might want you to think.
  • 0 Hide
    mj4358 , March 25, 2011 12:09 PM
    I dont see how choice is limited.....consumers buy a mac or the buy a windows or build it them selves.
  • 0 Hide
    dbfm , March 25, 2011 12:42 PM
    Honestly, I don't think I need to spent too long explaining how Apple limits choice....That's the entire business model. I understand why it's good for them, but it isn't very good for me, or for competition.

    Natural evolution, survival of the fittest....Surely it's hard to argue against that being a good idea? The fittest personal computer for the majority of mainstream users might be OSX on cheap x86 hardware, but that is a choice denied to the world by Apple.

    Opening up the closed systems at Apple would be a very questionable commercial decision for them. It might work out very well, but it might work out very very badly..a risk...and risks that big shouldn't be taken lightly. I understand why things are the way they are, but I wouldn't want anybody to think that Apple (or any business) does what it does in the interest of consumer choice.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , March 25, 2011 12:58 PM
    dbfmI understand why things are the way they are, but I wouldn't want anybody to think that Apple (or any business) does what it does in the interest of consumer choice.


    Its one of several reasons Apple only sell a single computer out of twenty(!) world wide, while Microsoft enjoys Windows installed in eighteen of those. If the consumer wants tons of good quality software or enjoy a ton of good games its easy to see why most choose Windows, its the standard (with a huge margain) and hence has most software for it!

    Not to mention you get those benefits cheaper as well!
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