OS X has now outlasted Apple’s classic Mac OS

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os x
OS X passed a major milestone this week.
Photo: Olarila

Call it macOS or OS X if you want, but today Apple’s Mac operating system passed a major milestone: overtaking Apple’s classic Mac OS by a single day.

Pointed out by Jason Snell of Six Colors, the original Mac operating system lasted 6,269 days from January 24, 1984 to March 24, 2001. The current operating system, meanwhile, has lasted from March 24, 2001 to the present day — a total of 6,270 days! Time sure flies, right?

The story of OS X

As I’ve noted before in my “Today in Apple history” posts, the basis for OS X/macOS can actually be found in the work Steve Jobs did during his wilderness years outside Apple. While at NeXT, his team developed the NeXTSTEP operating system, an object-oriented, multitasking operating system based on UNIX.

That operating system debuted in September 1989, and was described by The New York Times at the time as “Macintosh on steroids.” Later rebranded as OpenStep when NeXT stopped selling computers, OpenStep was the reason NeXT was acquired by Apple in late 1996. This came after Apple’s failure to create its own next-gen operating system Copland.

For those wanting a trip down memory lane, here’s Steve Jobs showing off the first version of OS X when back at Apple:

What was your favorite version of Apple’s operating system over the years? And do you think, having overtaken classic Mac OS in duration, Apple should be looking to reinvent its operating system once more? Let us know in the comments below.