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.
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Page 29 September 2000 www.macworld.com