Apple Could Call OS X 10.9 ‘Cougar’ With no Problem

| Editorial

I don't really think there would be a problem naming OX S 10.9 "Cougar." In fact, Apple should. It's a fairly big, strong cat, and the name connotes power and ferocity. Much more so than "Lynx."

Next, Apple has had the trademark on Cougar (and Lynx) since 2003. No problem there.

Finally, there is that minor business with the informal use of the term Cougar that applies to certain kinds of older women.

I don't think that's really an issue for Apple. First, Apple easily survived Jay Leno's short-lived joke about the iPad mini. Second, these kinds of jokes don't have much staying power. The first time someone tries it, it's geek-cute. The second time a writer tries it, it's awkward and puerile.

By the time the third try comes around, the writer just looks creepy and stupid. The whole thing is dropped, and Apple can get on with the prestige of a big cat name. And reclaim the higher ground.

I really don't see a problem.

(A list of current and previous OS X cat names is in wikipedia.)

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Cougar image via Shutterstock.

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23 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

When I hear ‘Couger” I think of a late 60s-early 70s muscle-car from Mercury.

mrmwebmax

+

John,

A cougar and a mountain lion are the same cat. As is a panther, for that matter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cougar

Panther and Mountain Lion were a number of OS releases apart, so that wasn’t bad. Now, though, from a marketing perspective, does it make sense to use Cougar right after Mountain Lion? Same cat, different OS….

Lee Dronick

Bengal, Siberian, something like that?

John Martellaro

mrmwebmax:  I don’t really see a sequence problem as you suggested.  That’s cutting it pretty fine.  All that matters is that the name is different and is a big cat.

George

Seriously, there are much better names out there.

I vote for Saber Tooth.

EMan

Smilodon. Or Tabby. I’m good with either one as long as it’s as functional as Snow Leopard.

Chris Newman

When I hear cougar I think of older women hanging around with younger men

Pat Mahon

If Apple worried about such things do you really think they would have used the name iPad?

Laurie

The cougar and mountain are the same cat.  The sequence problem would be that the picture would be the same; yeah, maybe a different pose, but still the same cat.  When farther apart, like with the panther, at least you wouldn’t confuse the operating system packages.  I vote for the bobcat.  It may not be as big as a mountain lion/cougar/panther, but it is still big enough, and it has the name “bob” in it.  Who doesn’t like “bob”?  I also like George’s suggestion for Saber Tooth, although Apple may not want to identify its latest and greatest with an extinct animal.  Just sayin’

Lee Dronick

This will be the last version of OS X and will be a transitional one preparing us for OS XI. It will combine some features of iOS, but will still be a full desktop OS. They will call it Bearcat, the first version of OS XI will be called Panda, Polar, Grizzly, or some other bear.

Hanineal

Another vote for Sabertooth. If 10.9 will be the last Big Cat, I think we should go out with the biggest big cat of all time.

iJack

“This will be the last version of OS X and will be a transitional one preparing us for OS XI.

I don’t think that’s true, Lee.  I read just yesterday, a quote attributed to Tim Cook, that ‘they’ have no problem with a 10.10, 10.11, etc.

Torey

According to the Wikipedia article on the differnt OS’s, Apple let the trade mark lapse.

“Apple has also registered “Lynx” and “Cougar” as trademarks, though these were allowed to lapse.[78]”

Steven

Cougar was my citizens band radio handle way back. I have the copyright!

Toy Needle

Did you read this far? Why?

mrmwebmax

+

John M wrote:

mrmwebmax:  I don’t really see a sequence problem as you suggested.  That’s cutting it pretty fine.  All that matters is that the name is different and is a big cat.

As Guest Laurie pointed out, the sequence problem is because Apple now uses actual pictures of the big cats in their marketing. Just look at the cougar picture used in this very article: You could just as easily use it in an article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion because, again, we’re talking about the exact same cat.

In the end, though, I think much will depend on their marketing plans post-10.9. If they stay with OS X 10.10, 10.11, etc., then they’ll need to keep the cat-theme running, in which case I think they’ll have no choice but to go with names like Ocelot, Serval (granted, very similar), Bobcat, Lynx, etc.

I think OS X 10.9 Feral could work, too. Then again, I have a thing for feral cats. TNR!!!

Peter

A Panther is a black LEOPARD, not a black Mountain Lion. And yes, Cougar is a local name for the Mountain Lion. They are precisely the same animal.

Guy

Laurie said “I vote for the bobcat.  It may not be as big as a mountain lion/cougar/panther, but it is still big enough, and it has the name “bob” in it.  Who doesn’t like “bob”?”

The last OS that had “Bob” in it’s name didn’t fare too well.

SteveP

OK, nobody’s saying it, so I’ll offer this.
Everyone is talking about the melding of OSX and iOS. (Though I personally don’t see a complete melding, al la Windows, happening.)
So, given that, how about “Liger” or Tigon”???

Just sayin’!

bdkennedy1

Apple abandoned both trademarks so they won’t be using Lynx or Cougar.

Ultimation

Oooh, pwned by bdkennedy1.

geoduck

There’s one option nobody seems to have mentioned: that Apple could drop the cats. They were fine for 2001 but the idiom is getting a little stale, not to mention that they are starting to run out of big cats. Maybe Apple will just start calling OS-X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 etc. Or maybe they will go to OS-XI and drop the cats.

Lee Dronick

Geoduck, that is why said that the would call it Bearcat, in part as a way to transition to naming the OS after bears.

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