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What is OS X?

218 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Nov 13, 2012 8:06 AM by Niku RSS
Niku Level 2 Level 2 (285 points)
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Nov 13, 2012 6:41 AM

I'm confused. To me, OS X should include OS 10.0 (Cheetah) and everything that followed, but it seems to me that I see it being used for only Mountin Lion, or maybe Lion and Mountain Lion. Straighten me out, please.

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  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (39,485 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 6:47 AM (in response to Niku)

    OS X has been an evolutionary operating system with nine different versions. During that evolution it when from running on PowerPC CPUs to both PowerPC and Intel to only Intel. In addition to that there has been a continual change in the underlining structure. For these reason very little of the original version is currently available in the most recent version.



  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (15,015 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 7:00 AM (in response to Niku)
  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 7:06 AM (in response to Niku)

    If you see Apple promotional material (eg, on their website), it's almost always referring to the latest version of OS X (right now, 10.8), unless it says otherwise. Technical/knowledge base articles will specify the version of OS X that that article applies to.



  • Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 7:44 AM (in response to Niku)

    Third-party application developers are responsible for writing their own system requirements - if you buy a boxed program that says "works with OS X", I agree, that's not precise enough. However, most applications will have more detailed requirements. You have to be careful not only that your OS X is new enough to support apps, but that it's not TOO new - you may be aware that 10.7 knocked out PPC applications, for example.


    As far as I can tell, Apple is careful about specifying compatibility between OS X versions and third-party apps. Apple Store pages, for example, like this one, tell you exactly what version you can run the application with.


    If you're seeing specific examples to the contrary, let us know!




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