Mac OS X’s twentieth
Apple website in April 2001. © Apple.
On March 24, 2001, Apple’s new operating system went on sale for US$ 129. First proclaimed in 1998, Mac OS X was the heir to NeXTSTEP, the NeXT computer system based on the Mach kernel and Berkeley Unix (BSD). In 1997, Apple bought NeXT, the company created by Steve Jobs in 1985 after his departure from Apple, both to lay the foundation for a new, more robust operating system and to coax its impetuous founder to return to the fold. Cheetah, the initial version of Mac OS X, was rather buggy and reviews at the time were mixed. They praised its sophisticated and brilliant Aqua interface while criticizing its poor performance in terms of speed and reactivity. However, Cheetah introduced a number of elements, such as the dock, that are still present in the operating system today. Of course, Mac OS X (or macOS 10, as it was later referred to) didn’t quite survive its 20th anniversary: last year’s Big Sur update inaugurated version 11, thus ending the X dynasty.
⇨ Ars Technica, Samuel Axon, “It’s been 20 years since the launch of Mac OS X.”