Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

This Week's Sponsor

End users aren't your enemy! Kolide gets users to fix their own device compliance problems–and unsecure devices can't log in. Click here to learn how.

By Jason Snell

Today Mac OS X is as old as the Classic Mac OS

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Here’s a bit of numerology for you. Today marks 17 years, one month, and 29 days since Mac OS X 10.0 was released on March 24, 2001. That’s a strangely odd number—6,269 days—but it also happens to be the exact length of time between January 24, 1984 (the launch of the original Macintosh) and March 24, 2001.

In other words, today the Mac’s second operating system era, powered by Mac OS X (now macOS) has been in existence as long as the first era was.

Now, there are plenty of caveats: There was a Mac OS X public beta. The funeral for Mac OS 9 wasn’t held until 2002. Classic Mode continued to function within Mac OS X until it was removed in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

Still, it’s a milestone. And it makes me wonder what comes next for the Mac. I doubt we will see a seismic transition to a new Mac OS—it’s more likely that we will see waves of change that gradually turn what we think of as the Mac into something different, influenced by the success of iOS.

Perhaps the time is right. Apple makes Mac chip transitions every dozen years or so, and another one may be on the way. All of this has happened before, and all of this will probably happen again.

If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.

Search Six Colors