Mac OS X Public Beta
|Release of Mac OS X operating system|
A screenshot of Mac OS X Public Beta. Notice the Apple logo in the middle of the menu bar. The included MP3 player app is visible at top left.
|Company / developer||Apple Computer|
|September 13, 2000|
|Kernel type||Hybrid kernel|
|Preceded by||Mac OS 9|
|Succeeded by||Mac OS X v10.0 "Cheetah"|
The Mac OS X Public Beta (internally codenamed "Kodiak") was an early beta version of Apple Computer's Mac OS X operating system Cheetah. It was released to the public on September 13, 2000 for US$29.95. It allowed software developers and early adopters to test a preview of the upcoming operating system and develop software for the forthcoming operating system before its final release. The US version had a build number of 1H39 and the international version had build number 2E14.
The Public Beta succeeded Mac OS X Server 1.0, the first public release of Apple's new NeXT OpenStep-based operating system, which used a variant of the classic Mac OS' "Platinum" user interface look and feel. The Public Beta introduced the Aqua user interface to the world. Fundamental user interface changes were revealed with respect to fonts, the Dock, the menu bar (with an Apple logo at the center which was later repositioned to the left of the menu bar and made an active interface element). System icons were much larger and more detailed, and new interface eye candy was prevalent.
With the Mac OS X Public Beta came fundamental technical changes, most courtesy of an open source Darwin 1.2.1 core, including two features that Mac users and developers had been anticipating for almost a decade: preemptive multitasking and protected memory. To illustrate the benefits, at the MacWorld Expo in June 2000, Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated Bomb.app, a test application intended to crash.
The Public Beta included many of the standard apps bundled with Mac OS X today, such as TextEdit, Preview.app, Mail.app, Quicktime Player and Terminal.app. Also included with the Public Beta, but not in any subsequent versions of Mac OS X were a simple MP3 player (iTunes had not been introduced yet), Sketch, a basic vector drawing program, and HTMLEdit, a WYSIWYG HTML editor inherited from WebObjects.
Native shrinkware applications were few and far between. Early adopters had to turn to open source or shareware alternatives, giving rise to an active homebrew software community around the new operating system. The poor state of the Carbon API contrasted with the relative maturity of Cocoa also gave rise to an anti-Carbon bias among OS X users, one that persists to a certain extent to this day.
Mac OS X Public Beta expired in Spring 2001.
Mac OS X v10.0 was the first completed release of Mac OS X. It became available in March 2001. Owners of the Public Beta version were entitled to a $30 discount on the price of the first full version of Mac OS X 10.0.
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