July 22, 1997: Apple introduces its next-gen working system, Mac OS 8, the primary main OS refresh for Macintosh since System 7’s launch in 1991.
Mac OS 8 introduces simpler browsing of the web, a brand new three-dimensional look and different options. It will get nice evaluations — however arrives at a really difficult time for Apple.
Steve Jobs’ first new OS
Though everybody associates Steve Jobs’ reign at Apple with OS X, Mac OS 8 was truly the primary new working system to launch after his return to the corporate. Jobs had little or no to do with it, although, since his CEO predecessor Gil Amelio had solely stepped down a few weeks earlier.
Mac OS 8 constructed on the work that had gone into Apple’s Challenge Copland, which the corporate introduced in March 1994. Cupertino positioned Copland as a complete rewrite of Mac OS to accompany the introduction of the primary PowerPC Macs.
Challenge Copland provides to Mac OS 8
Nevertheless, the software program’s builders frequently missed deadlines. Finally, Apple folded Challenge Copland into “System 8,” which grew to become often called Mac OS.
Mac OS 8 allowed better ranges of person customization for options like system fonts, accent colours and photograph desktop backgrounds.
Apple’s different enhancements included new pop-up context menus, spring-loaded folders, reside scrolling, a built-in net browser and a multitasking Finder improve.
Mac OS 8: Sneaky title, large hit
The newly modernized working system grew to become an enormous industrial success.
Retailing for $99, Mac OS 8 got here at an important time for the money-losing Apple. Gross sales exceeded expectations by an element of 4, with 1.2 million copies bought within the first two weeks of availability. This made Mac OS 8 probably the most profitable Apple software program product on the time.
Apparently, probably the most fascinating facet of Mac OS 8 had little or no to do with the software program itself.
As Keith Bosse, a monetary analyst with Robert Cohen & Firm, mentioned on the time: “Mac OS 8 shouldn’t be the true story…. This isn’t a know-how downside. The product itself shouldn’t be the difficulty. [Apple has] a gross sales and advertising and marketing downside. It’s a model mismanagement downside. The model is being so underutilized at this stage.”
Mac OS 8 title counters the clone Macs
One of many large issues Apple confronted on the time was the presence of clone Macs.
Many individuals pushed for making Mac OS run on different computer systems within the Nineties. Microsoft efficiently employed such a technique with Home windows. Nevertheless, it labored much less effectively for Apple.
Apple CFO Fred Anderson labored out that the clone Mac technique truly value Cupertino cash. The $50 charge Apple acquired for each clone Mac bought didn’t come near recouping the cash misplaced from folks selecting to purchase third-party Macs as an alternative of the pricier ones made by Cupertino.
A part of the rationale for calling Apple’s new working system improve “Mac OS 8” as an alternative of “System 7.7” was that the settlement with Mac clone-makers solely prolonged to cowl System 7 updates. By naming the replace “Mac OS 8,” Apple might negotiate new phrases with third events licensing the Apple working system.
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