History of MacOS

The operating system that powers every Apple
computer is called MacOS. And if you haven’t used Apple products for
very long, you may not be familiar with the operating system’s history. The first version was released in 1984 and
completely changed the computer industry. Similar to how iOS on the first iPhone completely
changed the smartphone industry. But the history of MacOS spans a number of
decades, which has resulted in the operating system appearing and behaving much differently
today than it had over thirty years ago. So in this video we’re going to explore
some of the biggest transformations and most dramatic moments MacOS has experienced in
its lifetime. This is Greg with Apple Explained, and I’d
like to thank MacPaw for sponsoring this video. If you want to help decide which topics I
cover, make sure you’re subscribed, and these voting polls will show up in your mobile
activity feed. Now the history of MacOS goes back to 1984,
when Apple introduced the Macintosh. It was the first commercial computer to feature
a graphical user interface and a mouse, which made the machines much easier to use and therefore
more accessible to non-tech users. Previously, using a computer meant understanding
the abbreviated textual commands needed to interact with the command-line interface of
an Apple II or IBM PC. Which typically only tech hobbyists were familiar
with. But the introduction of the graphical user
interface changed everything. You no longer needed to understand how the
computer worked, you simply used the machine intuitively. Move the cursor around your virtual desktop
and select what you want. It was as simple as that. And although the Macintosh didn’t sell as
well as Apple had hoped, it did prove that there was a better was to implement desktop
operating systems. And that was with a graphical user interface. But Bill Gates, who recognized the Macintosh’s
significance, was troubled by just one thing. Why did Apple decide to keep the Mac’s GUI
operating system for themselves? Why not license the OS to any computer manufacturer
willing to pay for it? Then, not only will you make more money, but
you’ll also capture much more marketshare. So Gates took it upon himself to create a
competing operating system to Mac OS called Windows which was released in 1985. Which, it so happened, was the same year Steve
Jobs resigned from Apple. So with the Macintosh experiencing sluggish
sales due to its high price, Microsoft had the opportunity to overtake Apple, and that’s
exactly what happened over the following decade. Windows proved to be a huge success, with
dozens of PC manufacturers purchasing licenses of the operating system to use in their hardware. By 1995 Microsoft was worth $6 billion while
Apple was on a slippery slope to bankruptcy. Windows had a virtual monopoly over the computer
industry, with Mac OS accounting for just 4 to 5 percent of the market. Apple’s desperation became very clear as
they began licensing the Macintosh operating system to third party manufactures, similar
to what Microsoft had been doing with Windows. But it was too little too late. Businesses and developers had already become
entrenched in the Windows ecosystem and had very little incentive to switch to Mac OS. By 1996 the Macintosh was running on an operating
system that hadn’t been updated for five years. Despite multiple attempts at building a next-generation
operating system, Apple had virtually nothing to show for it. That’s why they turned to third party companies
for help, hoping to purchase an OS that could be used in the next generation of Macintosh
computers. And that’s exactly what they found in Next
Software, a company founded by Steve Jobs after he left Apple. Next had been developing an advanced object-oriented
operating system that would provide Apple the foundation they needed to create a new
OS for the Macintosh. So at the beginning of 1997 Apple acquired
Next for 400 million dollars, which also meant Steve Jobs would be back at Apple as a consultant. Five months later, Mac OS 8 was ready to be
released. And if you’re wondering how Apple was able
to build a new operating system so quickly, it’s because the initial release of Mac
OS 8 wasn’t much different from System 7. It featured a new platinum user interface,
a multi-threaded Finder, and custom appearance themes, but the underlying technical aspects
of the OS was largely unchanged. In fact, Apple’s Mac OS 8 release was originally
named Mac OS 7.7. But Steve Jobs changed it in order to take
advantage of a legal loophole that allowed Apple to stop licensing System 7 to third
party manufactures and shut down the Mac clone market altogether. Response to Mac OS 8 was huge, with Apple
selling 1.2 million copies in the first two weeks and three million within six months. This was in large part due to strong grassroots
support among Mac users who understood Apple was in financial distress. This resulted in many users paying for the
upgrade even if they didn’t need it, as well as many pirate groups refusing to distribute
the OS for free. Mac OS 8 was a very influential release, with
features like an updated Hierarchical File System that continued to be used until MacOS
High Sierra. But sales of Mac OS 8 definitely weren’t
enough to keep Apple afloat, they needed new hardware to bring in serious revenue. And that’s exactly what they did in 1998
with the release of the iMac, which became Apple’s most successful product launch in
history at that point. But it came to its operating system, there
was sort’ve a mismatch. Because although Mac OS 9 was released a year
after the iMac, it still featured an outdated user interface that stuck out like a sore
thumb compared to the iMacs shiny, colorful design. And that’s exactly what Apple addressed
in 2001 with the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Not only is this when Apple debuted their
aqua interface which featured visual embellishments like reflections, shadows, and translucence. But this also began the tradition of naming
each version Mac OS after a big cat. The first of which was called Cheetah. Now Mac OS X Cheetah was a very important
release since it marked the beginning of a new era for the Macintosh operating system. In fact, it was such a monumental transition
that Apple held a funeral for Mac OS 9 on stage. [clip] But there were some problems with Cheetah. First, the aqua interface, while visually
appealing, was a resource hog. Causing system slowdowns and bogging down
application performance. Not only that, but the new OS required more
hard drive space which also caused longer boot times. Many users also noted the lack of basic features
like DVD playback and CD burning which used to be available in Mac OS 9. So although Cheetah was a pleasure to look
at, it certainly wasn’t a pleasure to use. And the heavy criticism of the release caused
Apple to offer their next version of Mac OS X to users for free. Because at the time, upgrading to a new operating
system used to cost about $130. Now Puma was a step in the right direction
and was praised for introducing many new features that were missing from Cheetah like CD and
DVD burning, DVD playback support, support for more printers, and faster 3D performance. But was still criticized for failing to fix
significant bugs that could cause system-wide crashes, and failure to improve system performance. Jaguar was the next release, and it turned
Mac OS X into a more refined and stable operating system. It was also the first time Apple incorporated
the Jaguar name into the product’s marketing, whose box featured a Jaguar-fur logo. Now the following Panther, Tiger, Leopard,
Snow Leopard, and Lion releases all followed the same patterns. Introducing new features and system optimizations
to keep the OS competitive. But there was a trend beginning with Mountain
Lion that set MacOS on a new path. And it was when Apple began introducing applications
and elements from iOS to MacOS. Like Notes, Messages, Game Center, and Notification
Center. And this trend only continued with each subsequent
update. Mavericks featured desktop versions of iBooks
and Maps, Yosemite featured Photos, Sierra featured Siri and Apple Pay, Mojave featured
News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home. And Catalina features dedicated Music and
Podcasts apps plus an Apple TV app all of which were borrow from iOS. Not to mention Apple’s Project Catalyst
which is designed to help developers bring iOS and iPadOS apps to the Mac. But when it comes to Catalina, I do want to
issue a warning that it no longer supports 32-bit apps. So if you’re thinking about upgrading I
highly recommend using Clean My Mac X since it’ll identify any 32 bit apps you may have
so you’ll know beforehand what applications won’t work. Although keep in mind that there may be updates
for those 32 bit apps and you’ll find out by using Clean My Mac’s Updater feature
which will instantly replace your apps with 64 bit versions if they’re available. It’s also worth noting that I use Clean
My Mac X because it’s actually notarized by Apple. So to clean up your Mac before upgrading to
Catalina just click the link in the description and you’ll be able to download a free trial
of Clean My Mac X or you can purchase a premium license for just $35, which is way cheaper
in the long run compared to a subscription service. So anyway, Catalina does follow the trend
of being influenced by iOS. And some have seen this as a sign that the
two operating systems will someday merge into one, but I see it a different way. Just consider the environment of MacOS back
when it was first introduced compared to today. Back then, there were only desktop computers
with desktop operating systems. Today, computers come in many form factors. Tablets, phones, watches, and desktops, each
with their own optimized operating systems that borrow from on another. For example, iOS did music playback much better
than iTunes on MacOS. So it made sense to replace iTunes with a
reengineered Music app that borrows many of its features and design cues from iOS. That doesn’t mean the two operating systems
will inevitably become the same thing, it simply means Apple is concerned with delivering
the best user experience possible. We’re only going to see more of this as
time goes on, and I think it’s for the best. Alright guys thanks for watching and I’ll
see you next time.

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