OS Eks or OS Ten, that is the question in MMXIII

Posted on by Mike Evans

Smartypants Applefanpersons often take delight in correcting newcomers who refer to OS Eks instead of OS Ten. Everyone, they chortle, should surely know the X is the Roman numeral ten. How could anyone be so idiotic as to assume it is the letter X?

Dr.Drang of wades into the argument and has a great deal of sympathy with the X-filers. It is, he believes, happenstance that the first Unix version of the Mac operating system just happened to be tenth in line to the throne. Apple must have been delighted. Yet, as he points out, the letter X has always featured large in Unix nomenclature. This usage has been hijacked by Apple to create a Roman number.

So much pleasure has this happenstance given to Apple that the X has been drawn out for an unprecedented twelve years. Instead of OS 11 or OS 15, we have had a succession of decimal appendages and fancy names. OS Ten has become the enduring brand name for no particular good reason. We are now on OS X 8.4 and options are dwindling. Will we see an OS Ten Ten or will Apple make a radical change?

I tend to agree with Dr. Drang on this. Maybe we should be joining the X-filers and start calling it OS X instead of OS 10. As he points out, we continually flout the established convention by referring to OS 10.8.4 instead of to OS X 8.4. Time for a change, I think. We are living in MMXIII for heaven's sake.

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