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Mac OS X Overview

Mac OS X has had a very long and rocky birth process. In late 1996, Apple purchased NeXT Computer, Inc. with the thought of using its OpenStep operating system as the basis for the next-generation Mac OS. Developed initially under the moniker Rhapsody, this new operating system was little more than a graphic makeover for OpenStep. Mac OS users were left without support for existing software, and developers were left without support for existing code. Steve Jobs touted the component model of the new operating system as being the future of the Macintosh, but people weren't buying it.

Thankfully, Apple listened to the feedback of its users and developers, and slowly but surely molded the architecture of the new system to create a powerful and compatible system. With each successive conference or trade show, it seemed that modules of the architecture would be added, removed, or undergo a name change. Finally, at MacWorld Expo in January 2000, the final model, shown in Figure 1.1, was unveiled.


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