OS X turned 14 today, fully embracing those awkward teenage years. Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Huzzah!
It was on March 24th, 2001, that Apple shipped the commercial version of Mac OS X 10.0 (as Apple for Architects reminded us). It was a Saturday, and you could pick it up at Apple's Stores-Within-A-Store in CompUSA.
Ask your parents what a CompUSA was.
Mac OS X 10.0 had a codename. It was Cheetah. The code name had leaked ahead of the release, but Apple wasn't yet using it commercially like it does today. Here's the original box, as published by TMO on that 2002 day (we had tons of coverage of Mac OS X's release).
Mac OS X 10.0 in 2001
Photo by Kelly McNeil
Plus, notice the word "Mac" in the name. Today it's just plain ol' OS X, but back then Apple wanted users to know there was a direct link to Apple's Mac legacy. Of course, there wasn't actually a direct link to anything but Mac hardware. Mac OS X was built on NeXT OS, a technology Apple acquired when it bought NeXT, Inc. from Steve Jobs in 1997.
Speaking of good times, that's an iBook behind the Mac OS X box. The photograph was taken by Kelly McNeil of what was then osOpinion, and the iBook is his. Staples had messed up and released copies of OS X to the public on Wednesday, March 21st. Mr. McNeil was one of the few who got the early copy, and he shared his pics with us (that's legacy site stuff there, so the links don't work and the formatting is borked).
Happy birthday, OS X! Looking forward to what Apple replaces you with. You've been with us for 14 years, and that's an eternity in Apple years. You've served us well, undergone many, many changes, but I suspect you won't make it to 20.