A brief history of macOS

mac os x

The heritage of what would become Mac OS had originated at NeXT, a company founded by Steve Jobs following his departure from Apple in 1985. There the Unix-like NeXTSTEP operating system was developed, and then launched in 1989. The kernel of NeXTSTEP is based upon the Mach kernel, which was originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University. With additional kernel layers and low-level user space code derived from parts of BSD. Its graphical user interface was built on top of an object-oriented GUI toolkit using the Objective-C programming language.

Throughout the early 1990s, Apple had tried to create a “next-generation” OS to succeed its classic Mac OS through the Taligent, Copland and Gershwin projects, but all of them were eventually abandoned. This led Apple to purchase NeXT in 1996, allowing NeXTSTEP, then called OPENSTEP, to serve as the basis for Apple’s next generation operating system.
Mac OS (previously Mac OS X and later OS X) is a series of graphical operating systems developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple’s Mac family of computers. Within the market of desktop, laptop and home computers, and by web usage, it is the second most widely used desktop OS after Microsoft Windows.
Mac OS is the second major series of Macintosh operating systems. The first is colloquially called the “classic” Mac OS which was introduced in 1984, and the final release of which was Mac OS 9 in 1999. The first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released in March 2001, with its first update, 10.1, arriving later that year. After this, Apple began naming its releases after big cats, which lasted until OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Since OS X 10.9 Mavericks, releases have been named after locations in California.
Apple shortened the name to “OS X” in 2012 and then changed it to “Mac OS” in 2016. Adopting the nomenclature that they were using for their other operating systems, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The latest version is Mac OS Catalina, which will be publicly released in September 2019.
Mac OS X was originally presented as the tenth major version of Apple’s operating system for Macintosh computers; current versions of mac OS retain the major version number “10”. Previous Macintosh operating systems (versions of the classic Mac OS) were named using Arabic numerals, as with Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9. The letter “X” in Mac OS X’s name refers to the number 10, a Roman numeral. It is therefore correctly pronounced “ten” in this context. However, it is also commonly pronounced like the letter “X”.
OS X versions:
1. Mac OS 10.0 “Cheetah”
2. Mac OS 10.1 “Puma”
3. Mac OS 10.2 “Jaguar”
4. Mac OS 10.3 “Panther”
5. Mac OS 10.4 “Tiger”
6. Mac OS 10.5 “Leopard”
7. Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard”
8. Mac OS 10.7 “Lion”
9. Mac OS 10.8 “Mountain Lion”
10. Mac OS 10.9 “Mavericks”
11. Mac OS 10.10 “Yosemite”
12. Mac OS 10.11 “El Capitan”
13. Mac OS 10.12 “Sierra”
14. Mac OS 10.13 “High Sierra”
15. Mac OS 10.14 “Mojave”
16. Mac OS 10.15 “Catalina”

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