Beta versions of classic Mac OS used to rename the “Special” menu to various different words, such as “Shuswap”, (in Mac OS 7.1 beta) “Snowman” (Mac OS 8.2 beta), “Scimitar,” “Simulcrum” (Mac OS 8.5 betas) and “Spaz” (Copland).
Coming after Jaguar (Mac OS X 10.2), Panther was supposed to be designated Mac OS X Version 11, but Apple eventually settled on 10.3. A CD picture with version 11 label was available for a while on Apple’s public relation subsite.
Contemporary Mac OS X has more in common with NeXTSTEP than with classic Mac OS. When it was obvious that classic Mac OS design has limitation which cannot be overcome, and after several failed internal replacement projects at Apple (including the infamous Copland), the company started looking outside. When it was almost certain that BeOS will serve as a framework for the new OS, Apple surprised everyone by buying out NeXT, Inc., and using their operating system. BeOS was allegedly too limited (it couldn’t even print!) and too expensive. OS/2 and Windows NT were also considered alternatives, as both had PowerPC versions at the time.
Desk Accessories in Mac OS (such as Calculator and Stickies) were originally called “desk ornaments.”
For many years since 1986, GEOS operating system was bundled with Commodore 64C, at one point being the second best selling GUI-based operating system in the world, surpassed only by Mac OS.
In late 1999 Apple discontinued the British English localized version of Mac OS 9, causing quite an uproar among UK users. The changes between UK and US editions included “Wastebasket” instead of “Trash,” in addition to the obvious spelling differences such as “Colours” instead of “Colors.”
The icons for Windows Vista will reportedly convey over 1500 times more data (but not information!) than icons for original Macintosh System (196608 vs. 128 bytes each).
There were several computers having a complete GUI in their Read-Only Memory, ready to be used instantly after powering on. The list includes 1990’s Macintosh Classic (with built-in System 6.0.3), Atari ST (excluding very early editions of 520ST with TOS on a floppy disk) and Acorn machines with RISC OS.
While many classic Mac OS fans lamented the demise of WindowShade (a feature that rolled the window to its title bar when double clicked) in Mac OS X, it is still present in one application – Stickies.