Happy 10th birthday, Mac OS X!

Happy 10th Birthday, Mac OS X!

Here’s the official 2001 Apple press release announcing the availability of the world’s most advanced operating system:

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 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.

Source: Apple


    1. “ZERO Virus still!!!!”

      Using strict terminology this is entirely true!

      Lecture time!
      However, many people confuse the word ‘virus’ with the word ‘malware’, mainly thanks to the anti-malware software providers calling their apps ‘anti-virus’. The two are very different. Viruses are one kind of malware, that being malicious software that can independently invade a computer, self-replicate, do damage, and further spread and infect. No such malware exists at this time for Mac OS X.

      Mac OS X does have at this time 28 or so malware. Nearly all of them are Trojan horses requiring user failure in order to infect a computer. A couple of them are called ‘malware’ but are actually hacker tools. One of the Trojans, of which there are three variants, infect then bot or ‘pwn’ the victim Mac and makes it part of a botnet. This was discovered in early 2009 at which point the Mac botnet was estimated to include about 10,000 computers. It was recently reported that this botnet still remains active. IOW: It is worth occasionally running one of the free anti-malware apps on your Mac.

      Class dismissed!
      I write about Mac security at:
      Mac-Security Blog

      1. Oh and the Mac ‘Security Through Obscurity’ FUD has been repeatedly proven to be ridiculous and without merit. It is merely a tall tale told by misery mongers.

        There is no ‘myth’ that Mac OS X is more secure than Windows. It is a fact that is consistently borne out by testing, hacking and user experience. Anyone telling you otherwise is either ignorant or trolling. So there.

        However, it is also a fact that Mac OS X is not perfect and has consistently been found to have security flaws. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is reported to take a major leap in solving these flaws.

      2. much like biological organisms, a virus also requires a host program to infect and inserts itself as part of the process when the program gets initial ran. without that attribute, there’s no reason to spread.

        program being boot loader, executable, document.

      3. … One truly minor disagreement, though. A virus does NOT need to “do damage” to qualify. Unless, of course, the breach of security and or the possibility of doing damage count.
        28 (or so) malware, eh? Sounds like a) proof of concept and b) less than a week’s work on a Windows system.

        1. “A virus does NOT need to “do damage” to qualify”

          Well, this is where there is a blur between worms and viruses. Worms don’t do damage, they just spawn. Viruses ‘do damage’ in that they alter SOMETHING in the infected computer, such as erasing it, turning it into a bot, damaging bits, etc. The user does NOT necessarily notice any damage. But by definition, viruses create ‘damage’ of some kind.

          If a piece of malware only replicates itself, it is a WORM, not a virus, Technically, despite what’s written at Wikipedia.org.

          However, these days it is increasingly common to combine malware types into hybrids. The recent Windows/Seimans Stuxnet ‘worm’ is an example. It is actually a Trojan, virus, worm, bot. It has all four aspects.

          As for proof of concept malware, they are NOT malware and I never count them on my list. Actual ‘malware’ has to exist out in-the-wild. All 28 of the current malware for Mac OS X are verified to be active out in-the-wild. My next ‘Mac Security Status Report’, Part III, will list all 28 along with their various names, descriptions and my critiques. I should have it posted within a couple weeks:

          Mac-Security Blog

          You can see from the general ignorance of Mac malware and overall security why I started the blog in 2005. I don’t know of anywhere on the net where Mac security is directly addressed in adequate detail. The closest thing is Intego’s own ‘Mac Security Blog’. I know the folks there and we end up bouncing back and forth and sharing a lot of information. I’m also in touch with the MacScan folks, who have their own limited blog. I do my best to pull everything together into something coherent, readable, amusing and critical of the generally unprofessional state of the computer security community.

  1. Also marks my personal conversion away from desktops to laptops. The white dual USB iBook set the new standard for portable usability. Lamenting the demise of AppleWorks. What a powerful tool that never became a real OS X app. Wouldn’t it be great for the iPad?

  2. I remember nobody believed how well Rhapsody was going to become… everyone made fun of Apple and it’s ambitious plans… Wish you all passion in life as the folks behind Rhapsody had it.

    Happy Birthday

  3. Brings back such memories!
    I’d forgotten about having to allot memory to certain applications.
    And OS X, after 10 years, is i>still ahead of its time when compared to Windows computers;
    – My MS-using friends still futz and bang their heads when attempting to connect to the the internet when at a new location.
    – Windows users still, searching for, downloading, and hoping for no conflicts, when trying to attach a new peripheral to their antiquated computing systems.
    – My friend, who works as a web consultant, owns 3 Windows laptops. When I met her at a cafe to talk about her camera, she brought along her camera manual on CD, because none of her computers can open PDF files. (I no longer ask, or make comment).

    I am constantly amazed (flabbergasted) at what Windows users can’t do, and the limitations they take for granted.

    Reading this press release reminds me how far advanced Apple is, and has been for at least 10 years.

    And regarding viruses, it’s nice to have reached the 10 year benchmark. “10 years and still not a single virus for OS X.” slides nicely off the tongue.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Apple, for your commitment to your customers, your commitment to making computers that work for the user, instead of the other way around, and your commitment to elegance at the same time.


    1. Talking about Windows drivers:

      I recently was talking to a building contractor who has an all Mac office. Recently he was in the offices of an architecture/engineering firm that used only Windows. All new machines except for an old clunker in the corner. He asked about it, and was told drivers were not available for the new computers to drive their large format pen plotter, so they had to keep the old computer. He unplugged the plotter, plugged it into his Mac laptop, and was up and plotting.

      That architecture/engineering firm has started transitioning to Macs.

  4. Boy, 10.0 sure was buggy! I remember the dock would keep having problems and I’d have to relaunch. One time the Finder crashed, didn’t come back up, and everything else kept running. Had a running computer that I couldn’t do anything with. But I put up with it, because I’d just switched to the Mac in August 2001, and I knew 10.1 was just weeks away.

    Way back in those early days, there were horror stories of Macs going to pieces after a OS upgrade. I used to keep a second bootable drive up-to-date, just so I could quickly revert if there was a problem. (There never was, but the practice saved my bacon when the IBM drive on my 733Mhz Quicksilver G4 began to die.) I believe the last version of OS X that I had any problem at all with was Jaguar. Since then, OS X has been solid as a rock, “just works”, “never even think about it” solid.

    Meanwhile, at work, Windows still finds creative ways to give me grief nearly every week.


    1. “10.0 sure was buggy!”

      Oh yes. That is one reason why 10.1 was a free update. It wasn’t until 10.2 that Mac OS X hit its stride. Part of the problem was that the Rhapsody beta (pre-Mac OS X) had dragged on literally for years and Apple had a lot of pressure to get the thing out the damned door! But IMHO all the version 1.0 syndrome suffering was worth it. Mac OS X is the single most secure and user-friendly GUI based operating system on the planet! I love it! We’re going to get married it in June. <3 <3 <3

        1. I’m very tired of explaining every year how PWN2Own works. Here are the basics:

          The only aspects of the contest that are of any relevance are the actual hacks used by the winners. The period of time it takes to perform the hack is irrelevant. Dr. Charlie Miller, champion of Mac security and many time winner of PWN2Own, takes month to prepare. For this year he had a number of sleepless nights searching for his Mac hack and getting ready for its execution at the contest.

          Anyone who ever said Mac OS X has ‘perfect’ security, or that it is ‘impenetrable’ was either a newbie or a deceitful myth-mongering troll. There is no such thing as perfect software, including operating systems. However, there is no more secure GUI based operating system than Mac OS X. Of all operating systems, only OpenBSD and FreeBSD have better security records. Windows is dead last on the security scale, even today with Windows 7. That’s not FUD. It’s fact.

          I write about Mac security at:

          Mac-Security Blog

  5. Wow, 10 years? I remember it clearly.
    We have come a loooong way, baby! In all honesty, OS X 1.0 was beta-quality. Lots of things didn’t work well, or had to be done in the Terminal. But even back then, I remember loving the stability (no system crashes!) and the potential that I could see in OS X.

    1. … I was there, too. Of course, as a Junior Unix Systems Administrator I was pretty well equipped to deal with the Terminal program. I. Was. GLORIOUSLY. Happy.
      I’ve pretty much gotten over that. Maybe gotten USED to it would be a better description. It has never failed me.

  6. It’s Houdini’s birthday, too, and if he can escape from where he’s at, he will. (But don’t hold your breath….) Anyway, lots of us ‘dared’ to install 10 when it first appeared, back in the days of possible 9/10 booting. But, Apple has always offered an escape from the chains and shackles of µ$oft, and has always been at least a decade ahead. On to the fabulous post-pc era!

    1. Yep, been using Macs at work since 1987 and home 1995. I remember the day I installed the real beta OS X. After 10.2 the problems pretty much went away and it’s been great ever since. Thank you Apple.

  7. Hallelujah, happy b-day. I was a 1 year Mac switcher at this point, already in love with my white iBook. The new OS was so cool. 10 years 4 new macs later and still loving every minute.

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