macOS Sonoma, the latest release of macOS
DeveloperApple Inc.
Written in
OS family
Working stateCurrent
Source modelProprietary (with open source components)
Initial releaseMarch 24, 2001 (2001-03-24)
Latest release14.0[3] (23A344)[4] (September 26, 2023 (2023-09-26)) [±]
Latest preview14.1 beta[5] (23B5046f)[6] (September 27, 2023 (2023-09-27)) [±]
Kernel typeHybrid (XNU)
user interface
Aqua (graphical)
LicenseCommercial software, proprietary software
Preceded byClassic Mac OS, NeXTSTEP
Official Edit this at Wikidata
Support status

macOS (/ˌmækˈɛs/;[7] previously OS X and originally Mac OS X) is an operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers. Within the market of desktop and laptop computers, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft Windows and ahead of Linux (including ChromeOS).

macOS succeeded the classic Mac OS, a Macintosh operating system from 1984 to 2001. During this time, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had left Apple and started another company, NeXT, developing the NeXTSTEP platform that would later be acquired by Apple to form the basis of macOS.

The first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released on March 24, 2001. All releases from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard[8] and after are UNIX 03 certified,[9] with an exception for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.[10] Apple's other operating systems (iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, audioOS) are derivatives of macOS.

A prominent part of macOS's original brand identity was the use of Roman numeral X, pronounced "ten" as in Mac OS X and also the iPhone X, as well as code naming each release after species of big cats, or places within California.[11] Apple shortened the name to "OS X" in 2011 and then changed it to "macOS" in 2016 to align with the branding of Apple's other operating systems, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS.[12] After sixteen distinct versions of macOS 10, macOS Big Sur was presented as version 11 in 2020, and every subsequent version has also incremented the major version number.

macOS has supported three major processor architectures, beginning with PowerPC-based Macs in 1999. In 2006, Apple transitioned to the Intel architecture with a line of Macs using Intel Core processors. In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M series processors on the latest Macintosh computers.[13] As of 2023, the most recent release of macOS is macOS 14 Sonoma.[citation needed]

  1. ^ "What Is the I/O Kit?". IOKit Fundamentals. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2018. Apple considered several programming languages for the I/O Kit and chose a restricted subset of C++.
  2. ^ "What's New in Swift". Apple Developer (Video). June 14, 2016. At 2:40. Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Clover, Juli (September 26, 2023). "Apple Releases macOS Sonoma With New Widget Features, Safari Updates, Screen Sharing Improvements and More". MacRumors. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "macOS 14.0 (23A344) - Releases - Apple Developer". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. September 26, 2023. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  5. ^ Clover, Juli (September 27, 2023). "Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS Sonoma 14.1 to Developers". MacRumors. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  6. ^ "macOS 14.1 beta (23B5046f) - Releases". Apple Developer. Apple Inc. September 27, 2023. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  7. ^ Apple Events – WWDC Keynote June 2016. Event occurs at 36:28. Archived from the original on September 11, 2017. YouTube mirror. Archived October 28, 2021, at the Wayback Machine. Youtube video archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Mac OS X Version 10.5 on Intel-based Macintosh computers". The Open Group. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  9. ^ *"Mac OS X Version 10.6 on Intel-based Macintosh computers". The Open Group. Archived from the original on November 16, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Re: was OS X version 10.7 Lion UNIX 03 certified?". Archived from the original on April 29, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
  11. ^ Ha, Anthony (June 10, 2013). "Apple Has A New, California-Based Naming Scheme For OS X, Starting With OS X Mavericks". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on July 9, 2017. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  12. ^ Mastroianni, Brian (June 13, 2016). "Apple unveils iOS 10, macOS, and more at WWDC 2016". CBS News. Perhaps one of the announcements that stood out the most was a slight name change. The desktop operating system Mac OS X will now be called macOS to better match with the way the company's other operating systems are named.
  13. ^ Evans, Jonny (June 22, 2020). "WWDC 2020: Yes, Apple is dumping Intel, gently". Computerworld.

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