Will Apple’s OS X be stopping at 10.6?

Being a bit of a Mac fan, I casually mentioned to my wife the upcoming (and generally eagerly awaited) Macworld conference. I then went on to mention that I’ll be buying Leopard when it comes out.

Julie’s response: Didn’t you buy it last year?

Me: No, that was Tiger.

Julie: How many big cats are there?

Good point!

Leopard is due out this spring, so I popped over to Wikipedia to see what big cats had been used by Apple so far:

  1. Mac OS X 10.0 – Cheetah
  2. Mac OS X 10.1 – Puma
  3. Mac OS X 10.2 – Jaguar
  4. Mac OS X 10.3 – Panther
  5. Mac OS X 10.4 – Tiger
  6. Mac OS X 10.5 – Leopard

Box artwork for Mac OS X versions Cheetah/Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger

By my reckoning (and little more Wikipedia browsing), the only big cat left is the Lion.

There are others: the Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard – but I ruled them out because, well, we’re going have Leopard this year…and we don’t want to repeat do we?

There’s also an Onza, but a) I’m not sure very many people will realise this is (supposed to be) classed as a big cat, and b)

Texas Tech University researchers concluded that the onza is most likely a genetic variant of puma, but not a distinct cat species

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onza

So, all in all it sounds like Lion should be next, and then…what? The end of OS X? The end of big kitty codenames?

Lonely LionI think some cat loving Apple employee might just be foregoing his next Christmas bonus! I can here them now…[cue fantasy sequence]…

What do you mean there’s no more big cats left? What did you think we would do a “Microsoft Word” and just make the numbers up? †

† i.e. MS Word 1, 2, 6, 7, 8…etc.

Either way – I’m looking forward to what Apple can pull out of the bag.

Oh, and just to cover myself here, obviously this is all a bit tongue in cheek! :-)

97 Responses to “Will Apple’s OS X be stopping at 10.6?”

  1. i really think that the final OS X 10.6 should be Cougar. It just sounds like something Apple would use. But i heard a rumor that Leopard is the last OS X.

    OS 11 or OS XI or whatever, i’ve heard they will be bear names, already heard that Sun and Grizzly are on the cards.

  2. Should they continue with OS X, it will likely use impressive sounding cats. Unfortunately, “Lynx” and “Ocelot” don’t have the same ring as Panther, Tiger, etc.
    I predict that the las OS X they produce (IF they produce any more) will be called Lion. Simply because Ions are almost always seen as the ‘king of the jungle.’
    I would also not be surprised if Apple simply stopped OS X at V5. Knowing them, they’ve been up to building a new Mac OS ever since 10.1 came out.

  3. If we’re talking about cats, then how about OS X (10.xx) Pussy Galore ( a James Bond 007, female character of long ago.)

  4. what about ostrich – they are supposed to be pretty fast

  5. God! Just searched the ‘net looking for what version of the Mac OS is on my wife’s machine (I’m a programmer, she’s a designer – me=PC). Anyway, what a stoopid idea using cat names for OS versions! Cost me a load of time. Hopefully they’ll name the last one Sabre Tooth in the hope that this idea will also become well and truly extinct! Thanks for the listing anyhow.

  6. How about mac os Kitten? It could be like a light version for an iphone or something lol
    Maybee Windows should be called window ferral lol always seems to loose things for me!

  7. Okay, so now it sounds like they might make is past Mac OSX 10.6 with Snow Leopard and then end on Mac OSX 10.7 – Lion! Surely they’re going to run out!

  8. You thought it was about spots, about stripes, about cats. But really, it was about the whiskers. Mac Os 10.6 Walrus coming soon.

  9. Guys, Apple had legal issues long ago, the can only go up to 10.6, after that they have to go to 11.0

  10. Steve’s already announced that 10.6 is going to be Snow Leopard. I don’t see why it can’t go beyond 10.6, what kind of legal issues could have caused that?

  11. the reason they use cat names is because their (almost) the fastest living creatures in the world, in this way they wonna say their OS is really fast.

  12. if u say having cats as names denote that they’re fastest,
    then why they have named them in decreasing order.
    Cheetah is the fastest and Leopard is the slowest big cat.

  13. The new Mac OS: Mac OS 10.6 PolarBear! :O

  14. I think because LEOPARD is REALLY the slowest system of all… above all after a PERFECT-10.4.11-TIGER-BUILD, i think.
    I’ve had only trouble from the first day, with ONLY THIS big cat… oh, I know why, man!
    All the Apple engineer were… on the iPhone SO!!!! -.- …really bad… here a pussycat, there a LION in a cell… uhmmm… ok ok, i’m gettin’ noisy… excuse moi! ^^

  15. what about osx 10.6 walrus, thats out on youtube. and who ever thinks that mac is rip off of freebsd and linux, you’re crazy, because i have every major operating system that people know, from solaris 10 to DSL linux, so dont think about taking your anger from windows on mac, mac was there before windows, its always been MAC

  16. I really hope they stop with the cats! C’mon Apple! Just go to freaking OS 11! (The X is really cool tho) Hummm… But it looks like we may have enough big cats to go on for a few more years… :-)

  17. I think that walrus is great, but Apple would never do it, thats ridiculous. OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (100% Confirmed) doesn’t sound like there will be major changes, unfortunatley, well no UI changes anyway. Lynx sounds pretty cool. I wouldnt be surprised if they used cougar or lion as well. But I think that Apple should change the name of their new OS (11) to something with a codename, not just OS XI or OS 11.
    Maybe OS Raptor

  18. Why would apple go to Mac OS 11 just because they ran out of names. The switch to 10 was the switch to BSD, and Cocoa, and since UNIX is so stable, and expandable, I doubt we will see 11 for many years.

    A naming shift, however, could happen while still using 10.X. How about African animals?

    10.7 Elephant
    10.8 Hyena
    10.9 Chimp
    and my favorite
    10.10 Hippopotamus

  19. Dude first of all, we reached just until 5 osx. Cause puma and cheetah is the same os. Second of all, there will be an operating system(10.6) called snow leopard and it will be launched at 2009. Maybe they’ll use the Onza or the Clouded leopard because it comes exactly 9 os versions to mac osx all & all.

  20. My question is whenever it switches, will it be OS 11 or OS XI?

  21. Apple has already registered “Cougar” and “Lynx” as trademarks…

  22. checking this a couple years later and it’s almost time for macworld 2009 its hilarious how you ruled out snow leopard.

  23. My Guess:

    10.6 : Snow Leopard
    10.7 : Lynx
    10.8 : Cougar
    10.9 : Lion
    10.10 : Steve Jobs

  24. There is an Israely desert cat called Caracal, in case Apple falls into a cat shortage

  25. Tony! No wait……never mind.

  26. 10.6 – Snow Leopard
    10.7 – who the fish knows
    10.8 – ?
    10.9 – just wait a while
    10.10 – why would they make a 10.10? it’s the same as 10.1

  27. Mac os x 10.6 is actually called snow leopard

  28. 10.6 is snow leopard and will be announced at the 2009 wwdc
    there are different names other than cats..
    apple is more creative to run out of names

  29. “10.10 – why would they make a 10.10? it’s the same as 10.1″

    Um… No. That’s not even a little bit true. You’re thinking math. In MATH, those two numbers are the same. They’re completely different when you’re naming iterations of software.

  30. I don’t think Lynx is a good name. It’s too similar to Linux.

    But I would imagine that eventually Apple is going to have to upgrade to 11, or XI, or something that’s not X. Because even if they were to start from scratch and still put it under the OS X name, people will eventually stop buying the updates, believing that they have something that’s very nearly as good, just not as current. The thing about Apple is that sometimes the updates are huge (10.3 to 10.4) and sometimes the updates are pretty minor (10.5 to 10.6). So it’s hard to know which updates you really need, and which ones would just be extra.

  31. I know this is a pretty old post.. but Snow Leopard contains minor updates, and 10.7 (unconfirmed, but still exciting to rumor about) codenamed ‘Sabertooth’, is expected, at least right now, to move to cloud computing. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit, as Apple almost always revolutionizes the computer, software, and OS industry with any new product they release. Apple is nothing short of a deity, and we all know it.

  32. What about a Lynx?

  33. “as Apple almost always revolutionizes the computer, software, and OS industry with any new product they release. Apple is nothing short of a deity, and we all know it.”


  34. Sabertooth is a good idea, or seven lives cat would be meaningful, but i don´t like the order of big cats, since a tiger is bigger than a leopard, and a jaguar too is bigger than any leopard incluiding a panther… Apple should get advice from zoologists…

    A lion would be a dead end cat…

  35. what about osx kitty as they may not always use big cats so what about everyones favourite feline the domestic cat

  36. There still are some options left:

    Cougar, Lion, Lynx

  37. There is NO WAY 10.7 is going to be cloud-based. The original article was a joke that was taken way too seriously.

    Our current wireless infrastructure is too slow to handle cloud-based computing. AT&T was barely able to launch MMS capabilities for the iPhone this year and that’s just transferring small media files.

    Cloud-based computing means that everything has to be done over the internet on the hosts servers and my opinion is that the majority of Mac users are not going to pay Apple a monthly fee to use a computer.

  38. what about lynx

  39. I like ninja cat…

  40. Os X Cougar would be an amazing name. I doubt they would name it Lynx cause it would be confused with Linux. LOL

  41. Well would you looky looky!! Remy, right on the money! Ok so it’s not the edition of OS X you thought the moniker would apply to, but still, 3 years later, Lion it is!

    Good man!

  42. what about OS X Liger

    that beast could destroy everything….EVERYTHING!!!!

  43. Good guess, dude… Lion it is! As of this date Apple has a Back to the Mac announcement scheduled for 10/20/2010 and it looks like they’ll be announcing Mac OS X 10.7… Lion!

    Dave P.

  44. I hope they go with great apes in 11. OS XI – Chimp. OS XI 10.5 orangutan. OS XI 10.9 – silverback

  45. Mac OS lion is ridiculous. What makes a mac so appealing is its intuitive yet simple GUI. This new change seems to be better because the idevices have gained popularity but to apply the idevice format, such as the icons now on the desktop instead of staying in the dock, is cluttering the entire simplicity and KISS designs usually associated with apple products. What the hell is a DOCK for now if all of your apps are all over the desktop. Here comes windows 3.0 all over again. Keep the icons in expose Steve.

  46. I’ve been hoping for OS X Tabby

  47. for the people suggesting lynx, lynx is already in use by another software product.

    Lynx is a text based web browser.

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