Mac OS Download

Macintosh OS family history

The Macintosh OS family was started by Apple Inc. in 1984. It had a GUI based operating system which was provided pre-installed with all Macintosh personal PCs those days. The Classic Mac OS was the beginning of a series of Macintosh operating systems to follow up to today. Macintosh system software was strictly available for Macintosh devices which made it a unique offering for its customers. The same OS which began as Classic Mac OS in 1984 was rebranded in 96 as Mac OS until year 2000 where Mac OS X was born. After a decade went by, Mac OS X was also rebranded as OS X which is used currently. (Keep reading for mac OS download)

However although Mac OS was famous for its user friendly GUI but it was also lacking most modern features which other competitors had at the time. It was highly regarded for its seamless multitasking ability for a long time while people complained about its low memory capacities issues, data security and lack of access control and compatibility issues with regard to extensions.

One of the key institutions in the history of Mac OS download evolution up to today is a company called NeXT. Some industry experts say NeXT gave wings to Apple to keep flying when Apple had lost both its wings.

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macOS development at NeXT

The development of macOS dates back to the year 1985. It began as a seed at a company called NexT, driven by Steve Jobs who had left Apple in 1985. The unix-like operating system named NeXTStep was produced and released in 1989. The kernel of this OS was built based on the Mach kernel, developed at Carnegie Mellon University in USA. This University held a great respect within the IT industry more then than even today. There were several additional layers to the kernel as well as several low-level code snippets derived from the unix based BSD.

The programmers who developed this has used Objective-C which is an object oriented programming language in order to build the GUI for this piece of hardware. This eliminated lot of the technical difficulties that was faced at the time with the use of Unix-like operating system for a next gen operating system. NexT was able to completely turn a page on this landscape and force Apple to purchase the new operating system from them in order to sustain in the market allowing Jobs to re-enter Apple.

In the early 90s, Apple was looking to create a next gen operating system to succeed their previous operating system classic Mac OS download. They had multiple projects such as Taligent, Coplan running in search of that miracle. Apple finally declared all those projects a failure and buy NeXT funded by Jobs enabling Apple to rebrand NeXTSTEP as the next gen operating system of Apple. Steve Jobs once again returned to Apple as its CEO first as interim appointment, then to become the permanent CEO. This was named as Mac OS X and in 2000 released with all the new apple computers attracting both individual PC users and industry professionals alike.

Mac OS to Mac OS X

The current Mac OS download was developed to Mac OS X after year 2000 in year 2002 and continued to operate under the same brand name across multiple apple devices until the year 2012. In 2012 Apple again looked for a change and rebranded the operating system from Mac OS X to OS X which is used currently.

The NeXTSTEP OS that was bought over from NexT by Apple still remains the most influencial Mac OS download development paving way for its use in differen devices such as apple mobile phones, watches and apple TVs.  They are easily named after their devices; iOS, watchOS, tvOS etc.

Version History of Mac OS from Classic Mac OS download to Mac OS X

Classic Mac OSNine major versions of the classic Mac OS were released by Apple.

Macintosh System Software – System 1, First Launched in 1984

With the System 1 Macintosh system software gave birth to a series of operating systems to follow the classic Mac OS product line. The following features were introduced with this operating system; the Finder and the menu bar. Limited RAM & lack of internal hard disk didn’t allow this first Macintosh computer which ran on a 68000 Motorola microprocessor to have multitasking.

Macintosh System Software version 2, 3, and 4 – Years 1985 to 1987

This Macintosh OS was highly regarded at the time compared to its competitors, due to the fact that it had an actual Graphical User Interface (GUI) instead of a Command Line Interface (CLI). Among notable updates in version 2, 3 and 4 are the introduction of multiple folder to the finder application, introduction of the shutdown command and a mini Finder application to fast launch a selected set of (favorite) applications. This update also brought forward the screenshot feature through a series of combination keys to Macintosh operating system.  Macintosh System software ver 3 was introduced with the 3rd Model of the Macintosh product line : Mac Plus. Apple Share service which was a key network service then related to file transfers using AFP protocol was introduced in Mac System software ver 4.

System Software 5 – Year 1987

With the introduction of version 5 of Mac System software, both Finder and system were incorporated together. This update also brought along MultiFinder which allowed multiple programs to execute at once. The co-operative multitasking model was first introduced by Apple in this release. It was also the first mac OS download version to enable unified versioning.

System Software 6 – launched in 1988

Also referred to as System 6, this update introduced two new hardware components; a 1.44 MB Super Drive and a new Motorola 68030 processor. It was also the first release of the OS that had the compatibility for portability giving it specialized features fit for a laptop. After System 6, Finder had a close relationship with the System software number (almost the same number).

System 7 – launched in 1991

The System 7 release announced compatibility with the new Macintosh 68040 product line. This was in early 90s and this was a major upgrade to the operating system.  One of the novel features introduced under this release was the support for virtual memory. It was only available as 3rd party add on previously. This also had major low-level changes changing the memory addressing to 32 bits. The co-operative multitasking introduced earlier as optional through MultiFinder application, now introduces system shortcuts then known as aliases. The introduction of Apple Script for automating tasks was also a notable update in this release.

Mac OS 8 – launched in 1997

The OS was re-branded to Mac OS from classic Mac OS download in year 1996. Hence the new release of the OS was known as Mac OS 8. This was a significant milestone for Apple, as it was the first system software version update release after Jobs re-joining the company. The Finder which became a Multi Finder in release 6 now becomes a multi-threaded Finder, meaning files can then be copied in the background faster and efficiently. This was taking multi-tasking to another level. Also the Platinum GUI was released along with Mac OS 8. It introduced a concept called skins/desktop themes allowing users to change the theme of the GUI to suit their preference. This caught a lot of traction and Apple made over 1 million sales within 2 weeks of Mac OS 8 launch.

Mac OS 9 – 1999

The last release of the classic Mac OS download series from Apple was Mac OS 9. It had serious improvements from its predecessor Mac OS 8. Airport wireless networking, first multi-user support for Mac OS, new Sherlock search engine, efficient memory management, on the fly encryption for file encryption, improved Apple scripting for network connectivity were among the key notable updates from Apple for this release.

Mac OS X / OS X

There have been 13 major releases since the new UNIX based OS was introduced in 2001. Most of these OS releases were given a code name that has a relationship with large cats like animals such as Cheetah, Jaguar, Tiger, Leopard, Mountain Lion etc.

Although Mac OS X 10.0 was released in 2001, it was initially marketed as Mac OS download version 10. Strangely, this was named as Cheetah. However the rest of the releases followed the same naming convention for code names finding a new animal that is related to its predecessor.

Given below is a list of the major releases of the Mac OS X & OS X since 2001.

macOS WWDC Keynote

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