On March 24, 2001, Mac OS X first became available to users around the world. Ars Technica’s Samuel Axon reflects on the OS and the many new features and technologies it brought that we now take for granted. From the report:
Of course, Mac OS X (or macOS 10 as it was later known) didn’t quite survive to its 20th birthday; last year’s macOS Big Sur update brought the version number up to 11, ending the reign of X. But despite its double life on x86 and ARM processors and its increasingly close ties to iOS and iPadOS, today’s macOS is still very much a direct descendant of that original Mac OS X release. Mac OS X, in turn, evolved in part from Steve Jobs’ NeXT operating system – which had recently been acquired by Apple – and its launch was the harbinger of the second Jobs era at Apple.
[Mac OS X] enabled Apple’s laptops to wake up from sleep immediately, and it introduced dynamic memory management, among other things. Mac OS X’s greatest impact in retrospect may be in the role it had in inspiring and propping up iOS, which has far surpassed macOS as Apple’s most widely used operating system. […] Despite Apple’s resounding success in the second Steve Jobs era, as well as in the recent Tim Cook era, the Mac is still a relatively niche platform – beloved by some, but skipped by much of the mainstream. After 20 years, a lot has changed, but a whole lot has stayed the same.