It was 20 years ago that I reviewed Mac OS X 10.1 for Macworld. I remember writing this article under the redwood tree in my backyard—the same place I wrote my iPad mini review earlier this week.
Mac OS X 10.0 was interesting, but so slow as to be essentially unusable. During that era, I had my Mac set to dual boot, so I could return to OS 9 to get work done. But OS X 10.1, while not exactly speedy, was usable enough to get by:
The Mac community has been buzzing about Mac OS X for years. But even Apple admits that OS X’s previous incarnations—from last year’s beta to this spring’s first “final” release—were only for people who wanted to experiment with and explore the operating system’s new features. For these early adopters, OS X was a glimpse into the future—the rest of us just sat back and waited for the future to arrive.
Apple’s new version of the OS, Mac OS X 10.1, is what we’ve been waiting for. With improved reliability, dramatic speed boosts, many interface improvements, and a clutch of native software, this release is the first version of OS X that’s truly ready for general use.
Although Mac OS X is still not a feature-for-feature match for Mac OS 9, it’s no longer a step backward. This version combines much of OS 9’s functionality with a collection of improvements that make upgrading to OS X a serious possibility for even dyed-in-the-wool devotees of the classic Mac OS.
Hat tip to Stephen Hackett for reminding me of the anniversary, and for linking to Siracusa’s review.
—Linked by Jason Snell