The Long and Winding Road

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If the news that Apple is getting ever closer to releasing OS X has you muttering "We'll see," we can understand your skepticism. Replacing the original Mac OS with a cutting-edge version has been a long process, full of more twists of fate than a Dickens novel and more code names than a CIA operation. And with OS X set to cross the finish line--finally, probably, hopefully--early next year, it's important to remember how we've arrived at where we are today.

April 1991  Apple CEO John Sculley demonstrates Pink--Apple's object-oriented OS to IBM.

October 1991  IBM teams up with Apple to form Taligent, a joint venture that will complete Pink.

March 1994  Apple announces the Copland OS. Due in 1995, it will feature active assistance, multitasking, and memory protection. An even more advanced OS, Gershwin, will follow in 1996.

August 1994  New CEO Michael Spindler says Copland will arrive in 1996.

January 1995  Mac enthusiasts gloat. Microsoft delays Windows 95, and gods of karma stroke their chins and take note.

June 1995  Copland user interface makes its first public appearance.

September 1995  Police drummer Stewart Copeland turns 43.

November 1995 Copland beta goes out to 50 key developers.

November 1995 Copland's launch delayed until 1997.

December 1995  Long forgotten Taligent becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM. It's never heard from again.

May 1996  A developer release of Copland is expected by summer. But the final version has been pushed back to mid-1997.

May 1996  New CEO Gil Amelio says Apple will ship Copland piecemeal.

June 1996  Douglas Coupland releases the paperback edition of Microserfs, a story about computer programmers searching for their purpose in life.

July 1996  George Gershwin died 59 years ago this month. Doubters of coincidence shrug and eagerly await the new OS.

August 1996  Chief Technology Officer Ellen Hancock kills Copland and Gershwin.

September 1996  Happy 44th birthday, Stewart Copeland!

December 1996  Apple says its new OS, Rhapsody, will ship to developers in the third quarter of 1997.

March 1997  Amelio cuts jobs.

July 1997  New interim CEO Steve Jobs cuts out Amelio.

August 1997  Mac OS 8 ships without the preemptive multitasking, rewritten microkernel, or protected memory slated for Copland.

August 1997  The motion picture Cop Land debuts to mixed reviews.

October 1997  Developers get a copy of Rhapsody.

May 1998  Apple changes the name of the OS to OS X.

September 1998  Copland may be long forgotten, but Stewart Copeland? Not as he turns 46, that's for sure!

October 1999  As OS 9 debuts, Apple delays the OS X release to early 2000.

January 2000  Jobs unveils Aqua and delays the OS X launch until summer.

May 2000  Apple plans a public beta of OS X for summer. Shipment slips to early 2000.

More Info:
Need more OS X info? Go straight to the horse's mouth--the Web page Apple created to handle OS X queries.

Page 29 September 2000

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