What’s in a name? Product marketers will tell you that a product’s name must evoke the essence of the product’s soul.
Or, something like that. Since 2001, Apple has named each version of Mac OS X after a big cat. What’s next? The Lion King.
We’ve been so wrapped up in Mac software reviews and speculation on what Apple will do with their $20-billion cash stockpile that we haven’t given any thought to speculation that has no purpose other than wasting time.
Like, what name will Apple use on the next version of Mac OS X?
Forgive me, but I’m doing the chronological order from memory, and if memory serves me correctly, OS X launched as Puma, then Cheetah (or, Cheetah, then Puma), then Jaguar, advanced to Panther, became popular with Tiger, and finally exploded on the world scene and increased market share with Leopard.
If Apple sticks with a big cat naming convention then what’s left? Lion? Somehow the king of the jungle seems far too cartoonish, especially after Panther, Tiger, and Leopard, one after the other ate into Microsoft’s market share.
If the other half of my memory serves me correctly, I think I remember reading somewhere that Apple is done with the big cat names with Leopard.
If so, most of my speculation ends here and now. Or not. Maybe. I should be definitive about it. Mostly.
To big cat or not to big cat, that is the next OS X question. The only big cat left is Lion, and Lion just sounds too weak after all the other big cats. Besides, most Lions just seem to lollygag around and not do much these days.
The only Lions of recent memory are in Disney animated movies with Elton John singing away, or really odd looking people-like Lions dancing on stage.
Lions are out. So, what’s in? What’s left? Apple still has, assuming my faltering memory stopped faltering for a moment, two other cat names trademarked and ready to use. Cougar and Lynx. I like Minx. Sounds rich, like Lexus. Stick a “y” in there and Mynx is good to go.
What’s the big name Apple intends to stick on the next version of Mac OS X, code-named Ballmer’s Nemesis (after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who also played the part of the reanimated monster in Young Frankenstein)?
Should it be a high tech name? A made up name? Or, should Apple stick with earthly creatures? Barnyard animals are probably out. What about snakes? Cobra always seems to be the predator out to devour the competition, but it’s sooooo over used.
Even the somewhat descriptive number 64, doesn’t carry any weight with the buying public. Mac OS X 64 (for 64 bit operating system which, more or less, is already in Leopard).
How about OS X Wizard? Overdone, right? How about OS X Magic? Hmmmm.
Not bad, but would evangelical right wingers like Rush Limbaugh stop using a Mac because it contained ‘magic?’ If he did, would that be a bad thing?
Any others? Zoom? Sky? Universe? Need something closer to home but still far out? Andromeda? Altair is a star barely 20 light years away. Wait. That’s been taken.
Maybe Apple will take a page or two out of ancient Roman and Greek culture? Zeus? Apollo? Hercules? Those have been done to death. Xena? Xenix didn’t fare so well, so that’s probably out, too.
Naming a world class operating system is a tough job. I’m sure Apple’s Steve Jobs has one of his marketing stars working on it night and day. Hey, about about DayStar?