November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by signing away the rights to the Macintosh’s look and feel.
The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the hells of the Windows operating system’s initial release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”
November 17, 1995: Apple releases the first beta version of its new Copland operating system to around 50 Mac developers.
Not so much a Mac OS update as a totally new operating system, Copland promises to help Apple take on the then-mighty Windows 95, with some ahead-of-its-time features. Sadly, it was never released to the public.