Apple’s Mac OS X operating system turned a lucky 7 years old yesterday, March 24. It was exactly 7 years ago that Apple released the first in the series of their flagship Mac OS X operating system, and since then it has become a rather strong competitor to Microsoft Windows in the consumer world.
While Mac OS X has been around for 7 years it was just on January 10th, 2006 that Apple released the update to Tiger which provided support for the Intel-based computers that they started to roll out. Then it was just a few months later that the first Beta of Boot Camp rolled out, which for the first time allowed Macs to natively run Windows. Ever since that time I would say that Apple’s computers have received a lot more attention, and have found their way into a lot more homes.
Seeing that Apple has had 6 different versions of Mac OS X since the original release it comes out to an average of almost one new release every year. Well, kind of. Below I have the release schedule for the Mac OS X line of operating systems. In parenthesis after each release date is the duration of time that passed since the previous Mac OS X release:
- March 21, 2001 – Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah
- September 25, 2001 (6 months later) – Mac OS X 10.1 Puma
- August 23, 2002 (10 months later) – Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar
- October 24, 2003 (14 months later) – Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
- April 29, 2005 (18 months later) – Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
- October 26, 2007 (29 months later) – Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
As you can tell there is a growing trend of postponed OS X releases, and staying on this track would put the next release about 3 years from now. Maybe Apple will get things back in order for more a little more frequent releases, but I think this goes to show that Microsoft isn’t the only one having troubles at getting their operating system out on a timely schedule.
What I would like to applaud Apple for is offering their operating system at a flat $129 over the years. Not only has the price remained the same across the different versions of Mac OS X, but they’ve also strayed from having multiple editions every time there is a new release. Microsoft has progressively gotten worse with the number of editions of Windows for each subsequent release, and it causes a lot of confusion with the consumer.
So here’s to wishing the Mac OS X many more successful years! They are pushing Microsoft to get creative with Windows, and I can’t wait to see what Apple is going to pull out of their hat next.