Happy 13th birthday, OS X!

Happy 13th birthday, 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

MacDailyNews Take: Minimum requirement: 128MB of RAM!


  1. I made the jump from Windows to Mac OS X in early 2011. Never a day goes by that I thank my lucky stars that I made the switch. Using the Mac is so much fun compared to the dreary experience with Windows.

    I was booting into Windows 7 installed in my Boot Camp partition almost every day for the first couple of weeks. Then as the weeks progressed, I found replacement apps in the Mac OS X universe that were able to fulfil functions performed by Windows programs (apps). A time came, a couple of months down the road, when I found that I rarely booted into my Boot Camp partition because OS X apps had completely taken over and were performing superbly on my Mac, equally or surpassing the performance of Windows apps.

    I found booting into Windows increasingly distasteful and would retch a little every time I had to perform a software update in Windows. Eventually after four months with my Mac, I found that I could completely remove the Windows partition from my Macintosh hard drive. That was the happiest day in my Mac experience.

    I have never looked back since then and have very much enjoyed OS X since the day I switched. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OS X!!! We love you, and don’t ever change.

    1. Good for you. I’ve converted dozens of clients and users over the years with similar stories. Not a single one of them ever came back and said they regretted their decision.

      I have two sayings:

      Once you go Mac, you never go back.


      I don’t do Windows!

    1. Your not kidding. My first conversion day was March 16,1999. Mac OS X Server 1.0 installed and I was blown away. It was obvious that it was not quite ready for primetime but you could see the what wonder the future held!

  2. eMac running Panther.

    That was my first taste, and since I had OS X at home for a full year before the small newspaper I worked at back then got its first OS X machine I became the go-to individual to run that network as we added more in over the years.

    Now I own my own weekly newspaper and have a contract to service about 250 macs in our local school district — a hobby-turned-job that I truly enjoy and has grown my business into new segments.

    OS X didn’t just change my computing experience for the better. In ways both small and large, it changed my life!

  3. We are long time Mac Users. My daughter uses Excel at work, and does macros. But, the Windows version has Visual Basic, and the Mac version of Excel lacks that feature, which she needs. As Microsoft has sabotaged its software and has earned five stars for malevolence in our family. Some customer focus!

  4. Happy Birthday OS X! To think I was a little scared of it when it first came out. Now, I’m an OS X Guru. OS 9 seems like a million years ago. Supporting both at the same time wasn’t nearly as daunting as I thought it would be. Apple really went all out making the transition pretty easy.

    To think Microsoft can’t even make it easy to transition from Windows 6 to 7, or 7 to 8, how pathetic they look. Looking forward to OS 11. I’m sure it to will be a smooth easy transition too.

    There seems to be a lot brewing on the Apple RADAR, 2014 is shaping up to be an interesting year for Apple. They’re no longer sitting on their hands.

  5. Installed the OSX preview and every edition since then. My favorites for various reasons were Panther (10.4) as it still supported “classic” and Snow Leopard (10.6.8) as it still supported Rosetta and retained a very high ‘usability index’ for the user.

    Newer OSX versions really seem to be ‘user antagonistic’ and complicate work flow – both in System settings and in the bundled applications.

    1. Canada Mark: 10.4 was Tiger which I still run on my iMac G3. 10.6 will be around for another year or two, but Apple will drop support for it and leave all the old ppc programs to Apple history.
      I have os X from 10.3-10.9 on disc or usb drive. I still have os 9.2.2 on disc for some reason that escapes me, but I hate to throw them out.

    2. Yeah, I installed the preview version on my graphite iMac and loved it straight away. I couldn’t do very much with it at the time, but without the extension parade at start up, I could tell it wasn’t standing up on toothpicks the way OS9 seem to be. Hell, I even liked the do nothing Apple menu in the middle of the menu bar… Lol!

      Go Apple!

  6. “They’re no longer sitting on their hands.”

    They never were. What… you think they sat around for two years twiddling their thumbs and have now decided to do some work?

    There are two ways to come to that conclusion:

    1. From what Apple says about the future. And that is almost nothing. Just a couple of comments from the boss about “there’s good stuff coming”.

    2. Or from rumors from “analysts” and “pundits”. And most of them know nothing and understand nothing.

    Don’t forget, as MDN has illustrated repeatedly, the interval since the last big thing is actually shorter than most of the intervals between “big things”. So I think Apple has never sat on their hands, and at some point we’ll see the result.

  7. I had been a Windows person for a few years, building my own boxes and endlessly tinkering with the OS to make it work. I was also an early internet user, so I was well versed in Unix care and feeding, even running my own internet connected Unix box over in the corner of my home office.

    When I heard that OS X had been released, and that its Unix underpinnings were easily available from within the OS, I finally caved in to my wife’s nagging to dump Windows and join her in the Mac world (she’d been a Mac tech for a few years). I was so impressed with OS X that in 2003 I moved all my investments from mutual funds to AAPL. Over the last 10 years Apple and OS X have given me roughly a 4000% return. I’m now retired much earlier than I had thought would ever be possible.

    1. The best part about OS X is that it let users know when some crappy third-party software — like MS Word — crashed. Talk about a smoking gun! I loved seeing the cool, calm, collected message from my Mac: “MS Word just crashed; what do you want me to do now?”. OS X named names. It prodded me to improve my life. So I switched to Pages and iWork many years ago and never once looked back.

      I bought a MBP 17″ with OS X in early 2003. Incredibly beautiful hardware, and unbelievably great software. The thing never crashed. Its hi-resolution screen was most amazing (ie, when watching the Lothlorien elvin kingdom scenes in The Lord Of The Rings). (Kept the machine a long time, but reluctantly sold it a few years ago for “recycling”; its only problem was that its chip was getting fairly slow.) I was also given an iPod for Father’s Day around that time. Fantastic device, coupled with life-changing iTunes. I remember my family giggling together in the kitchen as we made supper and downloaded music from iTunes. Also, we have not had TV for over 25 years, but we did download some shows (like “Lost”) that we enjoyed without being forced to watch mind-numbing commercials. I also bought a “dot mac” account about that time. Insanely great: hardware, software, MP3 player, iTunes, and “dot mac” account. Apple sounded like the perfect stock with great growth potential, since they had only about 3% of the PC market at the time. In Spring 2003 I began buying shares in this incredible company. Wow! Incidentally, I do not see that Apple has lost is mojo, despite opinion to the contrary from critics, Samsung tolls, party poopers, and various so-called pundits.

      Thanks OS X. Thanks, Steve. Thank You Apple. Keep up the good work.

      1. “Incidentally, I do not see that Apple has lost is mojo, despite opinion to the contrary from critics, Samsung tolls, party poopers, and various so-called pundits.

        Thanks OS X. Thanks, Steve. Thank You Apple. Keep up the good work.”

        I echo your sentiments. I hope you made a bundle on the investments.

  8. My first Apple product was an iMac G5 2.0GHz with Mac OS X Tiger.
    I loved iLife, the elegance of the OS, the virus-free computer and the overall trouble-free computing.
    Then came an iPod, a Mac mini and two iPads.
    Thank you Apple. I always got what I payed for and Apple is growing according to what it is giving us.

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