Apple Computer was 30-years old on Saturday, but the furore around that date eclipsed that of another - Mac OS X was five years old on March 24.

Many expect Apple will this month celebrate its 30-years of innovation in some form, possibly with a product announcement - but perhaps OS X itself merits a birthday bash?

Microsoft is working to develop its own next-generation OS - with analysts and Windows pundits making frequent reference to how OS X-like early builds of the much-delayed Windows Vista OS appears.

On March 21, Microsoft confessed that the general launch of its new OS would be delayed until 2007, meaning its hardware partners must prepare for another Christmas of slack sales.

Meanwhile, with a modern OS that's five years ahead of the competition and is already being improved for its next iteration, OS X puts Apple ahead of the industry.

The availability of the rock-hard Unix-based OS also means consumers and companies can move right ahead and buy a Mac, secure in the knowledge that a road map through which to integrate future technologies exists.

The launch of Mac OS X was met by a wave of parties across the world, when Apple resellers opened late and Mac users queued for access to the latest critical release.

"Mac OS X is the most important software from Apple since the original Macintosh operating system in 1984 that revolutionised the entire industry," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO at the time. "We can't wait for Mac users around the globe to experience its stability, power and elegance."

Happy birthday Apple. Happy birthday Mac OS X.