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October 5th, 1999

[2:45 PM] Apple Ships OS 9

Steve Jobs, Apple's iCEO, announced that OS 9 is officially shipping. OS 9 is the next upgrade to the MacOS and contains a host of new features and performance improvements. According to Apple:

Apple today announced that Mac OS 9, a major new release of the Macintosh operating system featuring 9 Internet power tools, will be available in US dealers on October 23 for a suggested retail price of $99. Mac OS 9 features the debut of Sherlock 2, now the ultimate search engine for news and people on the Web plus the perfect personal shopper on the Internet, letting users find products, compare prices, pinpoint availability and even participate in auctions.

“Mac OS 9 is the best Internet OS ever,” said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. “Sherlock 2 is a groundbreaking way to search and shop on the Internet.”

Leading the more than 50 new features in Mac OS 9 are 9 Internet power tools:

  • Sherlock 2, the ultimate search engine for news and people on the Web, is also now the perfect personal shopper on the Internet. Sherlock 2 features “channels” that provide tailored lists of search targets, such as “news,” “people,” “shopping,” etc. Users can create their own custom channels as well. The Shopping channel lets users search for merchandise across multiple sources at once (for example:, Barnes & Noble, eBay and eToys) comparing products, prices and availability from all sources in one convenient window.
  • Multiple users can now share one Macintosh while protecting their private files and maintaining all their Internet settings, system and application preferences.
  • Voiceprint Password allows users to log onto their Mac simply by speaking a pass phrase.
  • The Keychain manages each user's multiple IDs and passwords and stores them securely. When users log in, they automatically gain access to those password-protected sites and accounts without having to retype individual passwords.
  • Auto Updating allows users to automatically update their software over the Internet with the latest software and performance enhancements from Apple.
  • Encryption uses industrial-strength cryptography to easily password-protect files so they can be securely stored on a computer or sent across the Internet.
  • File Sharing over the Internet lets users turn their Macs into Internet file servers so they can share files or folders with other users as easily as dragging and dropping.
  • Internet AppleScript® enables customers to automate tasks from the most simple to the most complex, involving a single computer or many Macs working in parallel across the Internet.
  • Network Browser makes finding file servers, FTP servers, and web servers as easy as selecting a local printer, in small workgroups or the largest organizations.

System Requirements

Minimum requirements to run Mac OS 9 are an Apple PowerPC-based computer and 32MB of physical RAM with virtual memory turned on. Mac OS 9 is optimized to take advantage of the incredible performance of the new Power Mac G4 with Velocity Engine.

Apple said OS 9 should be available at retailers on October 23rd and will be priced at US$99. The company is also offering a US$20 rebate for owners of MacOS 8.5x and MacOS 8.6. It can be ordered immediately from The Apple Store. You can find more information on Os 9 at Apple's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is a significant upgrade to the MacOS in terms of performance and in "goodies." We expect that this should be a very successful release for Apple.


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