Apple is a hardware and software company based out of Cupertino, California. Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

Operating Systems by Apple

Mac OS X


At the present time, Apple operating systems are not the primary targets of computer viruses. As a result, Apple users on campus have no need for anti-virus programs including the Gustavus anti-virus software.


Early computers

The Macintosh was not the original computer line for Apple, they produced three computers before starting on the "Macintosh". The Apple I, used cassettes for storage and was released in 1976, the Apple II which boasted 5.25" floppy disks was released in 1977, and the Apple Lisa in 1983.

The Lisa and Macintosh

The Apple Lisa

The Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh were both in development at the same time.

The Apple Lisa was named after Steve Job's daughter, but due to infighting he left the Lisa development project to work on the Macintosh project. Both projects were competing within Apple to be the first released. Inevitably, the Lisa was released before the Mac and was the first public computer with a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

The Apple Macintosh

The failure of the severely overpriced business oriented Lisa was followed by the release of the Apple Macintosh in 1984. With the release of the LaserWriter, the first laser printer presented at a reasonable price, and the Macintosh's advanced graphical abilities and Macintosh desktop publishing software at the time, the Macintosh succeeded where the Lisa failed.

The name "Macintosh" has come to be associated with every computer produced by Apple, and is no longer used to specify any specific computer. Evidence for this is found in the new PC vs Mac advertising campaign that Apple has been running.

Beginnings of Windows rivalry

Shortly after the release of the Macintosh, Bill Gates and Microsoft released Windows 3.1, the first viable Windows alternative to Mac OS X. Windows borrowed many concepts from Mac OS. Microsoft was originally developing software for the Mac but later decided to compete with it in partnership with IBM.

System 7

System 7 was the next step in operating systems for Apple computers in 1991, and it would be the basis for Mac OS until 2001. During and for a while after System 7's launch Apple was considered to be the front runner in the computer world. However, as Windows continued to be developed, it slowly started taking over and many former Mac users turned to it for its "simple" interface and ease of use.


OS X was first released in 2001 and brought with it the "switch" campaign and a gradual winning back of users from Microsoft Windows. This increased conversion to Mac computers has been greatly assisted by the tremendous popularity of the iPod. OS X is what is found on the majority of the Apple computers on campus. The latest version of OS X is 10.5, also known as Leopard. Features of Leopard include Spaces (virtual desktops) and Expose (hot corners). The next new version of OS X will be 10.6, dubbed Snow Leopard. Apple's current lineup of computers consist of the MacBook laptop family, entry-level Mac Mini desktops, the iMac desktop, and the high-end Mac Pro desktops.


The iPod was released in November of 2001 and has continued on through many iterations and has sold better than any other portable digital media player. Multiple sizes and variations are available, including the iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, and the iPod Touch. Similar to the iPod Touch is the iPhone, featuring touchscreen technology, high-speed internet and email, and more. Service is provided exclusively for the iPhone through AT&T.


iTunes originally started as a simple music player on Mac computers in 2001. The software later expanded and was used to start managing music for the iPod. iTunes began its online store 2003, revolutionizing the way music was sold. As the popularity of the iPod grew, the popularity of iTunes grew as well. Over five billion songs have now been purchased via iTunes and it is the number one music vendor in the United States. The iTunes Store also includes music videos, movies, TV shows, podcasts, movie rentals, and more. It is available as a free download for both Mac and Windows computers.

Intel partnership

Apple recently partnered with Intel to produce the Intel Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Intel iMac, and Mac Pro. This partnership has allowed people to run Windows on their Macs and increased the compatibility of Mac computers.

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