Tempus fugit: Apple launched Mac OS X 20 years ago today

It was 20 years ago today that APple chief Steve Jobs taught the Mac to play the NeXT way as Apple introduced the first iteration of Mac OS X “Cheetah” at a global launch event with parties and gatherings of the faithful across the planet.

Apple’s big turnaround

The OS X (now macOS) act you’ve known for all these years became the UNIX-based launchpad for iPod, iPad, and iPhone — and was arguably as important in restoring the company to health as the iMac that returned the company to style.

Introduced globally on March 24, 2001, the OS was desperately needed. Apple had spent millions attempting to create a new system to replace Mac OS – Pink, Taligent, Copland, and Gershwin all came into view.

With a dying Mac market, Apple publications at that time filled themselves with in-depth and sometimes learned tracts detailing all that was known of Copland, Taligent and friends, and the subsequent plans to use OpenStep. These reports had charts and everything.

It’s just that what Apple was delivering didn’t make the grade. driving Apple to seek salvation outside the company. Following a brief flirtation with BeOS, Apple acquired NeXT to obtain that company’s object-oriented OpenStep OS.

Jobs, Apple’s legendary founder, also returned to the company under the deal. He eventually replaced CEO Gil Amelio and the rest is history. Jobs has left us, but you’ll still find his NeXT inheritance in macOS Big Sur in those NS-prefixed items inside the OS: NS = NextStep, you see.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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