While Mac OS 9 isn’t officially dead for customers, Apple does see the day when computers shipped to customers will be Mac OS X only. In fact, when Apple ships Mac OS X 10.2 next week, customers will buy a three-disk set — none of which will be a Mac OS 9 bootable CD.
Many people in the creative pro market and in education still run their machines using Apple’s Classic operating system. The Jaguar software retail package that Apple will ship next week includes a Mac OS X 10.2 system install, a second install CD containing printer drivers and applications, and a third disk, which contains the developer tools. For the first time, Apple will not include a bootable Mac OS 9 disk.
“We are not including a full Mac OS 9 CD in the Jaguar software update for the simple reason that an overwhelming majority of customers that will be buying the upgrade already have an OS 9 System Folder,” said Ken Bereskin, Apple’s Mac OS X product manager.
Apple will be posting information to their Web site in the next few days enabling customers running Mac OS 8.6 or under, or that no longer have their Mac OS 9 CD, to get a copy of OS 9. Under the Mac OS up-to-date fulfillment program, with proof of purchase of Jaguar, customers can purchase Mac OS 9 for $19.95.
Apple’s computers still come loaded with Mac OS 9, but the only way to fix the system if you break it or to reinstall it is to use an included restore CD. With Jaguar and the new machines, you will still be able to boot into OS 9 if you so desire.
“We ship all of our systems, including the recently introduced dual Power Mac G4s, with Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 preinstalled on the hard drive. Users can open the Startup Disk System preference, switch back to Mac OS 9 and restart if they choose,” said Bereskin.
It won’t be long, however, until Apple won’t be giving customers the option to even get a copy of Mac OS 9. Of course, when a few more major applications like Quark and some audio applications make their way to Mac OS X, most customers won’t feel the need to run Classic at all.
“Looking forward, there will be a day where we won’t invest in Mac OS 9 development — we envision a day when computers will be OS X only, but that day isn’t today,” said Bereskin.