Apple has unveiled Mac OS X, the next generation Macintosh operating system. Steve Jobs demonstrated Mac OS X to an audience of over 4,000 people during his Macworld Expo keynote, and over 100 developers have pledged their support for the new operating system, including Adobe and Microsoft. Pre-release versions of Mac OS X will be delivered to Macintosh software developers by the end of this month, and will be commercially released this summer. According to Apple:
Mac OS X is a completely new implementation of the Macintosh operating system, featuring state of the art technology throughout, including an entirely new user interface called Aqua. Mac OS X is designed to make computing even easier for consumers, while simultaneously extending the functionality for professional users. Mac OS X will fully replace the current generation Macintosh operating system over the next 12 months.
Mac OS X will delight consumers with its simplicity and amaze professionals with its power, said Steve Jobs, Apples iCEO. Apples innovation is leading the way in personal computer operating systems once again.
The new technology Aqua, created by Apple, is a major advancement in personal computer user interfaces. Aqua features the Dock a revolutionary new way to organize everything from applications and documents to web sites and streaming video. Aqua also features a completely new Finder which dramatically simplifies the storing, organizing and retrieving of filesand unifies these functions on the host computer and across local area networks and the Internet. Aqua offers a stunning new visual appearance, with luminous and semi-transparent elements such as buttons, scroll bars and windows, and features fluid animation to enhance the users experience. Aqua is a major advancement in personal computer user interfaces, from the same company that started it all in 1984 with the original Macintosh.
Aqua is made possible by Mac OS Xs new graphics system, which features all-new 2D, 3D and multimedia graphics. 2D graphics are performed by Apples new Quartz graphics system which is based on the PDF Internet standard and features on-the-fly PDF rendering, anti-aliasing and compositinga first for any operating system. 3D graphics are based on OpenGL, the industrys most-widely supported 3D graphics technology, and multimedia is based on the QuickTime industry standard for digital multimedia.
At the core of Mac OS X is Darwin, Apples advanced operating system kernel. Darwin is Linux-like, featuring the same Free BSD Unix support and open-source model. Darwin brings an entirely new foundation to the Mac OS, offering Mac users true memory protection for higher reliability, preemptive multitasking for smoother operation among multiple applications and fully Internet-standard TCP/IP networking. As a result, Mac OS X is the most reliable and robust Apple operating system ever.
Apple has designed Mac OS X to enable a gentle migration for its customers and developers from their current installed base of Macintosh operating systems. Mac OS X can run most of the over 13,000 existing Macintosh applications without modification. However, to take full advantage of Mac OS Xs new features, developers must tune-up their applications to use Carbon, the updated version of APIs (Application Program Interfaces) used to program Macintosh computers. Apple expects most of the popular Macintosh applications to be available in Carbonized versions this summer.
Apple today also announced that more than 100 leading developers have pledged their support for the new operating system, including Adobe, Agfa, Connectix, id, Macromedia, Metrowerks, Microsoft, Palm Computing, Quark, SPSS and Wolfram (see related supporting quote sheet).
Mac OS X will be rolled out over a 12 month period. Macintosh developers have already received two pre-releases of the software, and they will receive another pre-release later this monththe first to incorporate Aqua. Developers will receive the final beta pre-release this spring. Mac OS X will go on sale as a shrink-wrapped software product this summer, and will be pre-loaded as the standard operating system on all Macintosh computers beginning in early 2001. Mac OS X is designed to run on all Apple Macintosh computers using PowerPC G3 and G4 processor chips, and requires a minimum of 64 MB of memory.