Apple reluctant to drop Mac OS 9

Apple Computer has pulled back from a plan that would have made Mac OS X the primary operating system on all new Macs starting in January.

In September, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said that after the New Year, new Macs would only boot up into Mac OS X. Older models had the capability of booting into Mac OS X or the older OS 9.2. New systems would still ship with OS 9.2 to support the "Classic" mode for older software--but it could only be accessed through OS X.

However, Apple said Friday that it will continue to sell schools some Macs capable of booting up into Mac OS 9, and will continue to sell a Power Mac G4 geared toward professionals such as graphic designers until June.

The change in strategy highlights a long-standing problem for Apple: moving customers over to Mac OS X. Apple released the new OS in March 2001 but quickly received criticism from users and software developers.

The first iteration shipped without support for DVD or CD-rewritable drives. At the same time, developers complained about problems with application programming interfaces (APIs)--software hooks to the operating system--that made moving applications to Mac OS X more difficult.

Only after Mac OS X 10.1 shipped, in September 2001, did Apple iron out most of the kinks. Soon after, Adobe Systems, Microsoft and many other major Mac developers started shipping OS X versions of their software.

View: Full Story - Nine lives for Mac OS 9

News source: c|net

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