Mac OS 9 is the final major
release of Apple's "Classic"
Sherlock 2 for Mac OS 9 with the new
Introduced on October 23 1999
positioned it as "The Best Internet Operating System Ever,"
highlighting Sherlock 2's
Internet search capabilities, integration with Apple's free online
services known as iTools
, and improved Open Transport
While Mac OS 9 lacks the functionality of a modern operating
system, such as protected memory
and full pre-emptive
, lasting improvements include the introduction of
an automated Software Update
engine and support for multiple
Apple discontinued development of Mac OS 9 in 2002, transitioning
all future development to Mac OS X
that time, no updates have been released. The final updates to Mac
OS 9 addressed compatibility issues with OS X while running in the
compatibility with Carbon
Steve Jobs pitched OS 9 as the best "Internet OS ever". Users of
Mac clones were left out as OS 9 was a "Made by Apple"
Apple billed Mac OS 9 as including "50 New Features" and heavily
marketed its Sherlock 2
software, which introduced a 'channels' feature for searching
different online resources and introduced a QuickTime
-like metallic appearance. Mac OS 9 also
featured integrated support for Apple’s suite of Internet services
known as iTools (later re-branded as .Mac
which is now known as MobileMe
included improved TCP/IP
Other features new to Mac OS 9 include:
- Integrated support for multiple user accounts without using
- Support for voice login through VoicePrint passwords.
- Keychain, a feature allowing
users to save passwords in protected keychains.
- A Software Update control panel for automatic download and
installation of Apple system software updates.
- A redesigned Sound control panel and support for USB audio.
- Speakable Items 2.0, also known as PlainTalk, featuring improved speech synthesis and
recognition along with AppleScript integration.
- Improved font management through FontSync.
- Remote Access Personal Server 3.5, including support for TCP/IP
clients over Point-to-Point
- An updated version of AppleScript
with support for TCP/IP.
- Personal File Sharing over TCP/IP.
- USB Printer Sharing, a control panel allowing certain USB
printers to be shared across a TCP/IP network.
- 128-bit file encryption in the
- Support for files larger than 2 GB.
- Unix volume support.
- CD Burning in the Finder
(introduced in Mac OS 9.1).
- Addition of a 'Window' menu to the Finder (introduced in Mac OS
Mac OS 9 (System 9) and Classic
versions of Mac
prior to 10.5 include a compatibility layer called
, enabling users to run
applications and hardware requiring Mac OS 9 from within Mac OS X.
This is achieved through booting a full Mac OS 9 system. As a
result, Mac OS 9 must be installed on the computer for Classic to
function. Most Mac OS 9 applications run well in Classic, although
some applications demonstrate screen redraw problems. In addition,
scanner drivers and many other utilities no longer work.
2002, at Apple's Worldwide Developers
Conference in San Jose, California, Steve Jobs, accompanied
by a coffin, held a mock funeral to announce that Apple had stopped
development of Mac OS 9.
Mac OS 9.2.2, introduced in
December 2001, was the final version of Mac OS 9, and the end of
the classic Mac OS.
In June 2005, Jobs announced that the Macintosh platform would be
transitioning to Intel x86
microprocessors. Developer documentation of the Rosetta
PowerPC emulation layer revealed
that applications written for Mac OS 8 or 9 would not run on
x86-based Macs. The Classic Environment remains in the PowerPC
version of Mac OS X 10.4, however x86 versions of OS X do not
officially support Classic.
As a workaround for Intel-based Macs, Mac OS 9 can be emulated up
to version 9.0.4 by using SheepShaver
PowerPC emulator. It cannot emulate above 9.0.4 because SheepShaver
does not emulate a memory
. The PearPC
emulator does not support Mac OS 9.
||Shipped with Macs
||Shipped with Macs
||iMac/iMac DV/iMac DV SE
||April 2000 (download)
||Improved USB and FireWire support. Other bug fixes.
||iMac G3 (slot loading)
||January 2001 (download)
||Integrated Disc Burning within Finder. Implementation of Finder
'Window' menu. Improved stability.
||iBook 14 inch panel
||Shipped with Macs
||G3 processor as minimum system requirement. Improved speed and
Classic Environment support.
||Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver)
||August 2001 (download)
||Minor bug fixes.
||iBook (Late 2001), PowerBook G4 (Gigabit Ethernet)
||December 2001 (download)
||Bug fixes relating to Classic Environment.
Updates to Mac OS 9 include 9.0.4, 9.1, 9.2.1, and 9.2.2. Mac OS
9.0.4 was a collection of bug fixes primarily relating to USB and
FireWire support. OS 9.1 included integrated CD burning support in
the Macintosh Finder
and added a
new Window menu in the Finder for switching between open windows.
Mac OS 9.2, which required at least a G3 processor, increased
Retail copies of Mac OS 9 are still available from several Internet
businesses at varying prices. Mac OS 9 is no longer available from
Apple. Although now classified as abandonware
, as development on it has ended, it
is still in use by those who cannot upgrade to Mac OS X due to
hardware limitations, or prefer it to Mac OS X. Mac OS 9 is also a
popular choice for retrocomputing
hobbyists. Mac gamers also sometimes revert to Classic in order to
play some of the earlier, nonsupported games, for example, Civilization II
, and the Marathon Trilogy
- YouTube | Apple WWDC 2002-The Death Of Mac OS 9