Happy 6th Birthday to Apple’s Mac OS X!

Happy 6th Birthday, Mac OS X! Here’s the official Apple press release:

CUPERTINO, California—March 21, 2001—Apple® today announced that beginning this Saturday, March 24, customers can buy Mac® OS X in retail stores around the world. Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system, combining the power and openness of UNIX with the legendary ease of use and broad applications base of Macintosh®.

“Mac OS X is the most important software from Apple since the original Macintosh operating system in 1984 that revolutionized the entire industry,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for Mac users around the globe to experience its stability, power and elegance.”

Over 350 applications for Mac OS X are shipping today, with hundreds more coming by this summer. More than 10,000 developer organizations around the world are working on over 20,000 Mac OS X applications, including 4D, Aladdin Systems, Alias/Wavefront, Avid, Connectix, Dantz, Digidesign, EarthLink, FileMaker, IBM, Macromedia, Microsoft, MYOB, Palm, Sun, Symantec, and Thursby Software Systems.

Apple will also ship Mac OS X versions of its three most popular applications on March 24, available as free downloads at http://www.apple.com: iMovie™ 2, the world’s most popular and easiest-to-use digital video editing software; iTunes, Apple’s wildly popular “jukebox” software that lets users create and manage their own music library; and a preview version of AppleWorks® 6.1, Apple’s award-winning productivity application.

Mac OS X is built upon an incredibly stable, open source, UNIX-based foundation called Darwin and features true memory protection, preemptive multi-tasking and symmetric multiprocessing when running on the dual processor Power Mac™ G4. Mac OS X includes Apple’s new Quartz™ 2D graphics engine (based on the Internet-standard Portable Document Format) for stunning graphics and broad font support; OpenGL for spectacular 3D graphics and gaming; and QuickTime™ for streaming audio and video. Mac OS X also features an entirely new user interface called Aqua™. Aqua combines superior ease of use with amazing new functionality such as the Dock, a breakthrough for organizing, documents and document windows.

In addition, Mac OS X includes hundreds of new features, such as:
• Dynamic memory management, eliminating “out of memory” messages or need to adjust the memory for applications
• Advanced power management, so that PowerBook® and iBook™ systems wake from sleep instantly
• QuickTime 5, shipping for the first time as an integrated feature of Mac OS X
• Automatic networking, allowing users to get on the Internet using any available network connection, without adjusting settings
• A single interface to easily manage all network and Internet connections, including direct support for DSL systems that require PPPoE connectivity
• Full PDF support and PDF integration into the operating system, so that Mac OS X applications can generate standard PDF documents to be shared with any platform
• Direct support for TrueType, Type 1 and OpenType fonts, and an intuitive and flexible interface for managing fonts and groups of fonts
• More than $1,000 of the best fonts available today, including Baskerville, Herman Zapf’s Zapfino, Futura, and Optima; as well as the highest-quality Japanese fonts available, in the largest character set ever on a personal computer
• iTools integration into Mac OS X, for direct access to iDisk free Internet storage in the Finder and Open/Save dialog boxes, and free IMAP mail for Mac.com email accounts
• Built in support for popular HP, Canon, and Epson printers
• Easy to administer multi-user environment, with access privileges to keep documents secure
• Powerful web development tools and technologies such as WebDAV, XML, Apache and QuickTime
• BSD UNIX services including popular shells, Perl and FTP
• Support for symmetric multi-processing, so that on dual-processor Power Mac G4 systems, both processors are used automatically to deliver up to twice the productivity
• File system and network security including support for Kerberos
• Support for Java 2 Standard Edition built directly into Mac OS X, giving customers access to cross platform applications

Apple’s successful Mac OS X Public Beta, which shipped in September 2000, was instrumental in several key enhancements to the operating system. Apple shipped more than 100,000 copies of Mac OS X Public Beta and received more than 75,000 individual user feedback entries from Mac users and developers worldwide.

To help customers migrate to Mac OS X, Apple iServices will offer several new services, including a comprehensive set of Mac OS X training and certification offerings for Mac OS X system administrators.

Pricing & Availability
Mac OS X will ship with 7 languages—English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch— included on a single CD. In addition, the Mac OS X box will include a full copy of Mac OS 9.1, for running Classic applications, and the Mac OS X Developer Tools CD.

Mac OS X will be available through The Apple Store® (http://www.apple.com) and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $129 (US) beginning March 24, 2001.

Mac OS X requires a minimum of 128MB of memory and is designed to run on the following Apple products: iMac™, iBook, Power Macintosh® G3, Power Mac G4, Power Mac G4 Cube and any PowerBook introduced after May 1998.

Press release link: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2001/mar/21osxstore.html


  1. It may sound trivial even silly to some other people wishing happy birthday to an operating system, but considering how much time I spend using OS X, how much easier it has made my life, and how much it has helped my career, it isn’t silly at all.

    And thank you to all the programers and other creative people that made OS X possible. (you to Steve)

  2. When you run out of cat names, will we get Mac OS XI? I think you have only Cougar and Lion left after Leopard (for the commonly recognizable big cats). Lion would be appropriate for the last release. Actually, that timing would be about right for a major transition to the next big thing.

  3. Dynamic memory management, eliminating “out of memory” messages or need to adjust the memory for applications

    I’m using 15″ MacBook Pro with 2GB RAM and still frequently get OUT OF MEMORY!

  4. Mac OS X install on one CD? Wow.
    Then again I remember having the Mac system, MacPaint, MacWrite, an Imagewriter driver, and room for a document or two on one 400k floppy. Had to wait 22 years for Aperture though because it wouldn’t fit on a floppy. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. But despite the fact it’s been 6 years, let’s all admit that Mac OS X really kind of, well… sucked until version 10.3. Prior to that, it was terribly slow, lacked some of what we took for granted in Mac OS 9, and was a minor step backward with native applications and device compatibility.

    I’d have to say 10.3 was truly the first ready for prime-time Mac OS X which created a reliable, robust, and more innovative set of features for everyday consumer and business usage. Previous versions really ought to be considered more like beta versions if you ask me. With the exception of the nasty influx of viruses that hit Windows XP before SP2, I would have recommended it simply because it had more of what people wanted from an OS at the time.

  6. “Again, why did they kill Apple Works?”

    Well, last I looked, it’s still alive but being slowly replaced by iWork. The AppleWorks User Group quite some time ago saw the handwriting on the wall and began to support users of both applications. iWork has a way to go to catch up with AppleWorks’ features, but what it’s doing now it’s doing better and better. I think we can anticipate it being a full blown AW replacement within the next 36 months. Hopefully, it will be an MS Office replacement well before that.

    I think it’s a tribute to AppleWorks that it continued to work as long as it has with almost no updates.

    Having said all that, I admit I haven’t tried it on my Intel machine. I just assume it still works though, unless someone knows otherwise. It’s long been underestimated by most people in what it’s capable of doing. Only the AWUG seemed to really probe all that it can do.

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