On Saturday, March 24, the long-awaited OS X will have officially arrived. How long-awaited? If you count the precursor projects Pink, Copland, and Rhapsody, we’ve waited more than nine years.
But we’re only counting the latest OS X news. Here’s a guide to Macworld’s OS X coverage from 1998 on, recalling the milestones in OS X development and what they mean for those of us who will be using the new operating system.
The August coverage also notes that
OS X development coincided with a critical period for Apple: after the trials of OS X predecessors — Copeland, Gershwin, and Rhapsody — the company badly needed to demonstrate that it could conceive of, develop, and deliver an innovative operating system.
Steve Jobs demonstrates OS X Server during the Expo keynote by connecting 49 iMacs to one server and running a QuickTime movie. The display shows that
multiple Macs can be configured and booted from a single server, thus permitting users to move toward a more network-oriented model of computer use.
Steve Jobs surprises veteran Apple-watchers by announcing that
key parts of OS X will be released as open source. He also drops the price of the now-shipping OS X Server from $999 to $499. The open source announcement is hailed as a sign that Apple recognizes the forces at play in the general high-tech market.
Apple also hopes to
gain improvements for their OS X server from the programming public: “It’s as if we had hired a huge bunch of programmers for free,” asserts Ernie Prabhakar, Apple’s product manager for Mac OS X Server. “We’ll have a final product with better performance and new features.”
Developers praise Apple for sticking to its predicted OS X development roadmap, although they did raise a few eyebrows at the renaming and reclassification of some OS X components: the component used to run pre-OS X applications on OS X, Mac OS Blue Box, had been renamed to Mac Classic and the Yellow Box, a development environment for new OS X software, is now called Cocoa. Carbon, the third element of OS X and the one used for running applications developed specifically for OS X, remains unchanged.
a preview of what Mac users can expect in the year 2000: machines running OS X with a new, improved Finder; preemptive multitasking; and a clean interface. By “new, improved Finder,” what Apple actually meant was a Next-derived file browser; the decision to supplant a well-documented and frequently used Mac OS feature with a new mode of finding the computer’s contents is
Macworld also reports that OS X is still on target for delivery by the end of 2000; new Macs are supposed to come with a final version of the new operating system installed through the latter period of 2000, and older operating systems will be phased out of new Macs by January 2001.
Also at WWDC: Steve Jobs deftly
delays the final release date for OS X
again. The operating system, which was to have been rolled out in final form by summer 2000, is now expected in January 2001.
Developers are mostly unfazed
by this newest date.
The other large population awaiting the release of OS X — Apple users hoping to get their hands on a beta release — learns that
a public beta version of OS X was due out during the summer.
Macworld Expo in New York City debuts several stylish new pieces of hardware, but no beta version of OS X.
Technically, summer doesn’t end until September 21. A
public beta version of OS X is supposed to debut at Apple Expo
in Paris, France during the week of September 11, thus fulfilling Steve Jobs’ promise to release OS X beta in summer 2000.
Macworld focuses on exploring specific components of OS X, providing a tour of the much-discussed
Aqua interface; a
closer look at the Dock
feature in the interface; and an explanation of how the
underlying Unix layer in OS X
Users who are anxious about not being able to function in OS X can skim through a
that maps standard OS 9 features to the OS X beta; users who are wary of a Carbonized planet can get a quick primer on
switching between the operating system’s Carbon and Classic modes.
Finally, Brett Larson begins his
you-are-there account of working with the OS X beta on a daily basis.
Steve Jobs introduces OS X modifications in his Macworld Expo keynote address. The biggest changes: improved functionality on the Finder and the aggregation of system commands like Sleep and Shut Down under the Apple menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Jobs also
promises March 24, 2001 as the ship date for OS X.
On March 21, the press gets to take home copies of OS X; the emphasis on OS X’s imminent release is that
an imperfect operating system in the hand is infinitely preferable to a perfect piece of vaporware.