Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar
24 August, 2002

Previewed in May 2002 by Steve Jobs at Apple’s worldwide developers conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, introduced a host of new features. These included: Quartz Extreme, a hardware accelerated version of the Quartz graphics and compositing engine; an enhanced Finder, with spring-loaded folders and instant searching; and version 6 of QuickTime, making it the first complete solution for industry standard MPEG-4 video and AAC audio streaming.

Jaguar was the first Apple operating system to come with Rendezvous (since renamed Bonjour), a technology that locates other devices on an IP network, such as computers, and lets other users access their services. There was also increased Windows network interoperability with SMB browsing and sharing, as well as built-in PPTP VPN security. Apple’s AIM-compatible instant messaging software, iChat, was built into Mac OS X and integrated with the new Mail and Address Book applications. Jaguar also shipped with Unix tools for developers, while the 18-year-old Happy Mac startup icon was replaced by the Apple logo.

Adverts extolling the benefits for Windows users, who could ‘switch’ to the Mac had been running all year, but Apple had not yet addressed the fact that only around 10 per cent of the 20 million existing Apple users had switched to Mac OS X as their primary operating system. Meanwhile, Windows XP, which shipped just after Mac OS X 10.1, had sold more than 50 million licences in under a year.

Jaguar’s launch was marked by late night kick-off events at the 35 Apple retail stores in the US. Around 100,000 copies of the £99 software were sold worldwide in the first weekend. “Jaguar is our fastest out-of-the-gate OS release ever, and it’s looking like a home run,” Steve Jobs said about the sales figures. “The reviews are off the charts, and customers are raving about Jaguar’s stability, speed, new features and Windows compatibility.”

At September’s Apple Expo Paris, Apple announced that from January 2003, all new Mac models would only boot into Mac OS X, though they would be able to run Mac OS 9 applications through the Classic software.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
24 October, 2003

The year began with Apple launching a raft of products, among them Safari, iLife, Keynote, Final Cut Express, X11, the groundbreaking 12in and 17in PowerBook G4 models, and the Xserve RAID storage system was introduced. Al Gore joined Apple’s board of directors. The iTunes Music Store appeared in April and sold over a million songs in its first week. There were seven million Mac OS X users by the middle of the year, which also saw the introduction of the Power Mac G5, featuring the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor and the industry’s first 1GHz front-side bus.

However, the announcement of a new version of the operating system was delayed until the WWDC in June, with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther finally shipping on 24 October. “Panther sets the new gold standard for operating systems,” explained Steve Jobs. “With more than 150 new features, we’re delivering innovations today that will not be seen in any other operating system for years to come.”

One of these was Exposé, a revolutionary way to instantly view all open windows by reducing their size so that they all fit on a Mac’s screen. Powered by the Quartz graphics engine, Exposé proved to be a breakthrough in working with multiple files, applications and projects. The new Finder provided one-click access by putting a user’s favourite folders, storage, servers and iDisk in one convenient location, while offering dynamic browsing of the network for Mac, Windows and Unix file servers. Fast User Switching allowed several people to use the same Mac without having to quit applications or log out.

Panther also introduced FileVault, a 128-bit encryption technology designed to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure, and Font Book to provide system-level font management. Enhancements were made to Preview, Address Book, iDisk and Mail, while Windows compatibility increased, so files, printers and network services could be shared with Windows users.

The price of the operating system remained at £99 and its speed increases were widely welcomed.