According to staff at the UK Apple Store Apple will not include a Mac OS 9.2 install CD with Mac OS X 10.2. Of more significance, neither will an OS 9.2 disc be included with new Macs. Instead, Classic will reside on a Restore CD.

The lack of an OS 9 CD with new Macs, or in the OS X 10.2 box, would limit user-configuration options, with users of pre-OS 9 OSs unable to install OS X’s Classic environment, which allows older applications to run under OS X. Instead, they would be forced to buy a new – or newer second-hand – Mac in order to utilize Classic.

However, it would not stop people with OS 9 already installed from using Classic. OS 9 would still be installed on new Macs, and could be restored in event of trouble.

Updates that would take any version of OS 9 to the latest 9.2.2 are available on Apple’s Web-site support pages.

Apple Store representatives were unable to confirm if it will be selling a retail version of OS 9.

OS X 10.2 goes on sale August 24 and costs £99. Product information published on Apple's Web site makes no mention of the inclusion of OS 9.x, but does claim 10.2 users will enjoy better performance in the Classic environment.

An Apple spokesman said: “OS X is the future of the Macintosh. However, Apple doesn't comment on unreleased product.”