The man behind Mac OS X has revealed that the Unix-based operating system is drawing interest from corporate IT professionals – an area in which Apple has to date failed to make an impact.

Avadis Tevanian, Apple's senior vice-president of software engineering, was the man Steve Jobs hired to author his Unix OS, NeXT. Tevanian accompanied Jobs on his return to Apple in 1997, and set about building OS X, which he based on NeXT.

Tevanian also said he despairs of the general public ever grasping the so-called "megahertz myth" – which Apple tried so hard to explode during Steve Jobs' keynote at Macworld Expo in New York. Tevanian released the 10.1 update to Mac OS X at the event.

Of the interest shown by the corporate market, Tevanian said: "Professionals know it's not just the number on the chip but the balance of the hardware and software, and overall workflow performance, that matter. It's not megahertz, it what they can do with the technology."

He added: "There is potential for greater opportunities in the corporate market. From a technology viewpoint, I believe we are now much better placed. This operating system is what professionals have been anticipating for years," he told IT News.

But of consumers, Tevanian said: "We're getting the word out on the megahertz myth but I'm not sure the general public will ever fully absorb it. In general, people have no idea about it. They are looking for a simple way to tell what is what, and what is performance."