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January 6th, 2000

[6:00 AM] MACWORLD Expo - Mac OS X to Feature 'Aqua' User Interface - Video Clips Demonstrate
by Staff

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, Apple’s iCEO. “Apple’s 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 files—and 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 user’s 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 X’s new graphics system, which features all-new 2D, 3D and multimedia graphics. 2D graphics are performed by Apple’s new “Quartz” graphics system which is based on the PDF Internet standard and features on-the-fly PDF rendering, anti-aliasing and compositing—a first for any operating system. 3D graphics are based on OpenGL, the industry’s 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, Apple’s 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.

Gentle Migration

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 X’s 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.

Developer Support

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 month—the 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.

Apple has posted Quicktime clips of Aqua, the new user interface, online for viewing at the Mac OS X Theater.

The Mac Observer Spin: If you do nothing else to gear yourself up for Mac OS X, go see the video clips of Aqua. Despite their short running time, they're the best glimpse into the future of the Mac OS that we have at this time!

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