The Long and Winding Road

SAN FRANCISCO (07/27/2000) - If the news that Apple Computer Inc. is getting ever closer to releasing OS X has you muttering "We'll see," we can understand your skepticism. Replacing the original Mac OS with a cutting-edge version has been a long process, full of more twists of fate than a Dickens novel and more code names than a CIA operation. And with OS X set to cross the finish line -- finally, probably, hopefully -- early next year, it's important to remember how we've arrived at where we are today.

April 1991: Apple CEO John Sculley demonstrates Pink -- Apple's object-oriented OS to IBM.

October 1991: IBM Corp. teams up with Apple to form Taligent, a joint venture that will complete Pink.

March 1994: Apple announces the Copland OS. Due in 1995, it will feature active assistance, multitasking, and memory protection. An even more advanced OS, Gershwin, will follow in 1996.

August 1994: New CEO Michael Spindler says Copland will arrive in 1996.

January 1995: Mac enthusiasts gloat. Microsoft delays Windows 95, and gods of karma stroke their chins and take note.

June 1995: Copland user interface makes its first public appearance.

September 1995: Police drummer Stewart Copeland turns 43.

November 1995: Copland beta goes out to 50 key developers.

November 1995: Copland's launch delayed until 1997.

December 1995: Long forgotten Taligent becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM. It's never heard from again.

May 1996: A developer release of Copland is expected by summer. But the final version has been pushed back to mid-1997.

May 1996: New CEO Gil Amelio says Apple will ship Copland piecemeal.

June 1996: Douglas Coupland releases the paperback edition of Microserfs, a story about computer programmers searching for their purpose in life.

July 1996: George Gershwin died 59 years ago this month. Doubters of coincidence shrug and eagerly await the new OS.

August 1996: Chief Technology Officer Ellen Hancock kills Copland and Gershwin.

September 1996: Happy 44th birthday, Stewart Copeland!

December 1996: Apple says its new OS, Rhapsody, will ship to developers in the third quarter of 1997.

March 1997: Amelio cuts jobs.

July 1997: New interim CEO Steve Jobs cuts out Amelio.

August 1997: Mac OS 8 ships without the preemptive multitasking, rewritten microkernel, or protected memory slated for Copland.

August 1997: The motion picture Cop Land debuts to mixed reviews.

October 1997: Developers get a copy of Rhapsody.

May 1998: Apple changes the name of the OS to OS X.

September 1998: Copland may be long forgotten, but Stewart Copeland? Not as he turns 46, that's for sure!

October 1999: As OS 9 debuts, Apple delays the OS X release to early 2000.

January 2000: Jobs unveils Aqua and delays the OS X launch until summer.

May 2000: Apple plans a public beta of OS X for summer. Shipment slips to early 2000.

More Info:

Need more OS X info? Go straight to the horse's mouth -- the Web page Apple created to handle OS X queries.