The handwriting is on the wall, hand wringers, Apple is about to change some names. Again. This habit goes back to the beginning of the company’s history. Apple I became Apple II which was crazy successful but begat Apple III, which was a failure. Then along came Lisa, then the Mac. System became Mac OS which became Mac OS X, and now even that might change.
We’ll Miss You, OS X
Apple products have gone through a series of name changes through the years. Sure, it’s been ‘the Mac’ seemingly forever, but not just the Mac. Mac II, Mac LC, Mac SE, Mac Portable, Mac PowerBook, Mac Quadra, iMac, iBook, various G3 and G4 models, Mac mini, MacBook Air, Power Mac and MacBook Pro, and MacBook.
Whew. All Macs.
iPod, iPod mini, iPod nano, iPod Classic, iPhone iPhone G3 to iPhone 6s Plus and now iPhone SE. Times change and so do product names.
Say goodbye to OS X. Why? Because change.
Apple’s naming schemes for operating systems have gone through changes, too. The iPhone’s operating system became iOS. Now we have watchOS, tvOS, and if the hints prove true, soon no more OS X; instead, macOS.
See the pattern? OS fronted by a lower case name that describes the product (with iPhone and iPad being something of an anomaly, but it works).
The reason some Macophiles think OS X is headed for the dumpster is based upon some arcane reference to ‘macOS’ found in a document within the system folder of a new version of OS X. It’s a new document with a new name that contains ‘macOS.’
Remember, it hasn’t been Mac OS X since 2012 when Apple dropped the Mac in favor of plain old OS X (Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, and now El Capitan). The whole OS X naming scheme has become somewhat convoluted. The cat years from Puma to Mountain Lion are gone, replaced by famous locations in California. That naming convention is likely to change somewhere just before OS X Bakersfield, and since we already have iOS, watchOS, tvOS, why not make a major move to a simple ‘macOS?’
While macOS fits within the current naming scheme, it seems a bit devoid of personality and character, and that’s much of what the Mac has been and is all about, even today. But macOS, to me, is more character retaining that plain old vanilla OS X and a number and a name of place in California (although OS X Hollywood would be cool).
What Apple plans to do with the Mac name and OS X remains to be seen, but the company’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, usually scheduled for late spring, will tell us if Apple is ready to unify the operating system’s naming convention or whether or not we’ll be treated to OS X Death Valley.