Versions of Apple Mac OS X and macOS
In 2001, Apple Inc. released the long-anticipated new generation of the operating system software for Mac desktop and laptop computers, called Mac OS X. The X is a Roman-style designation for version 10, since the previous version was Mac OS 9. Much of the user interface functioned the same, requiring little new training. But, under the hood, OS X is vastly different, and incompatible with all prior versions.
As of version 10.12, Apple rebranded the operating system as macOS, although the major version number is still 10.
In the chart below, the Price column shows the retail price for a single copy, not considering bulk discounts and special offers (which all became moot when Apple decided to stop charging for OS X upgrades at all). The last column, Legacy Support, shows the name of software that was included with a given version of OS X to support backwards compatibility with the previous platform (see below footnote for more information). The rest of the columns are self-explanatory.
The Code Names were at first only used internally by Apple, but were added to the branding and packaging starting with version 10.2, including images of the big cats (through version 10.8) and California destinations and landmarks (version 10.9 and later).
Mac OS X / macOS Version Chart
|Version||Code Name||Date||Price1||Hardware Platform||Legacy Support2|
|10.4||Tiger||Apr. 2005||$129||PowerPC / Intel||Classic / Rosetta|
|10.5||Leopard||Oct. 2007||$129||PowerPC / Intel||Rosetta|
|10.6||Snow Leopard||Aug. 2009||$29||Intel||Rosetta|
|10.8||Mountain Lion||Jul. 2012||Free||Intel||None|
|10.11||El Capitan||Sep. 2015||Free||Intel||None|
|10.13||High Sierra||Sep. 2017||Free||Intel||None|
1 The Price column shows the original price when released. Currently, Apple sells OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), OS X 10.7 (Lion), and OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) for $19.99 each, for old computers. OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), are not available for purchase. OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) is still available in the App Store, since some relatively recent models of Apple computers cannot run macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later.
2 Classic is a feature of OS X that enables you to run applications designed for Mac OS 9 within the OS X environment (that is, not requiring dual-boot). Classic only runs on PowerPC-based Macs. Rosetta enables you to run applications, designed for OS X on PowerPC-based Macs, on an Intel-based Mac.
Click here to see the version chart for Mac OS 9 and earlier.