OS X: How Apple's big gamble paid off
I came late to the Mac party. After years tied to Windows-dominated business, it was only in 2005 that I had the courage to think different(ly). I bought my first Mac almost as an experiment—a Mac Mini as it happened—but I have never looked back. I cannot now envisage any other computing company than Apple. My iPhone, my iPad, my Macs, my Apple Watch—all work happily together in an eco-system that has never let me down. I am not starry eyed about Apple though. I recognise the problems of near monopoly, but I just feel comfortable where I am, not feeling a need to look elsewhere, whether in desktop or mobile operating systems.
It’s sobering to be reminded, though, that OS X (OS Ten) has been with us since March 2001 when Cheetah arrived on the scene. For Apple this was a big gamble, but it has paid off as recounted by Ryan Faas in Computerworld:
The road to OS X's initial release was a very bumpy one. Even before there was any thought of Apple buying NeXT, thus returning its CEO, Steve Jobs, to the company, Apple executives faced challenges with what was then thought of as the classic Mac OS.
The original Mac OS may have been revolutionary when it was unveiled in 1984, but it wasn't designed with many features that modern operating systems would need. Initially, it offered no ability to multitask, although "cooperative multitasking" could allow a single app to monopolize the processor. There was no protected memory, meaning that if one app crashed it would likely take others down with it and potentially the entire OS. And aside from a little-known product called At Ease aimed primarily at education, it offered no support for multiple user logins.