macOS previously Mac OS X and later OS X) is a proprietary graphical operating system developed and marketed by Apple Inc. since 2001. It is the primary operating system for Apple's Mac computers. Within the market of desktop, laptop and home computers, and by web usage, it is the second most widely used desktop OS, after Microsoft's Windows NT.
macOS succeeded the classic Mac OS, a Macintosh operating system with nine releases from 1984 to 1999. During this time, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs had left Apple and started another company, NeXT, developing the NeXTSTEP platform that would later be acquired by Apple to form the basis of macOS.
The first desktop version, Mac OS X 10.0, was released in March 2001, with its first update, 10.1, arriving later that year. Releases from Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and thereafter are UNIX 03 certified. Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, has been considered a variant of macOS.
The heritage of what would become macOS had originated at NeXT, a company founded by Steve Jobs following his departure from Apple in 1985. There, the Unix-like NeXTSTEP operating system was developed, and then launched in 1989. The kernel of NeXTSTEP is based upon the Mach kernel, which was originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University, with additional kernel layers and low-level user space code derived from parts of BSD. Its graphical user interface was built on top of an object-oriented GUI toolkit using the Objective-C programming language.
Throughout the early 1990s, Apple had tried to create a "next-generation" OS to succeed its classic Mac OS through the Taligent, Copland and Gershwin projects, but all were eventually abandoned. This led Apple to purchase NeXT in 1996, allowing NeXTSTEP, then called OPENSTEP, to serve as the basis for Apple's next generation operating system. This purchase also led to Steve Jobs returning to Apple as an interim, and then the permanent CEO, shepherding the transformation of the programmer-friendly OPENSTEP into a system that would be adopted by Apple's primary market of home users and creative professionals. The project was first code named "Rhapsody" and then officially named Mac OS X.
Here we have the list of Mac OS Versions till now.
Version Codename Release Date
Rhapsody Developer Release Grail1Z4 / Titan1U August 31, 1997
Mac OS X Server 1.0 Hera March 16, 1999
Mac OS X Developer Preview Unknown March 16, 1999
Mac OS X Public Beta Kodiak September 13, 2000
Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah March 24, 2001
Mac OS X 10.1 Puma September 25, 2001
Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar August 24, 2002
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther October 24, 2003
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger April 29, 2005
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard October 26, 2007
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard August 28, 2009
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion July 20, 2011
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion July 25, 2012
OS X 10.9 Mavericks October 22, 2013
OS X 10.10 Yosemite October 16, 2014
OS X 10.11 El Capitan September 30, 2015
macOS 10.12 Sierra September 20, 2016
macOS 10.13 High Sierra September 25, 2017
macOS 10.14 Mojave September 24, 2018
macOS 10.15 Catalina October 7, 2019
macOS 11 Big Sur June 22, 2020
You can download and install macOS Catalina from the App Store on your Mac. Open up the App Store in your current version of macOS, then search for macOS Catalina.
Click the button to install, and when a window appears, click "Continue" to begin the process
Switching to a Macintosh means getting a computer manufactured by Apple, Inc. If you found shopping for Windows PCs to be a bit bewildering, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Apple has only a few models in each category: a lowest-price basic version, an intermediate version, and a loaded version. Certain features are common to all current Mac models
Processors: All Mac models made in the past five years use fast Intel microprocessors, similar to those used in most PCs. Apple uses processors that feature two or more processor cores, allowing them to work faster. They all support 64-bit operation, allowing main memory greater than 4GB, though not all Mac models let you install so much memory.
Memory: As with PCs, Macs come with two types of memory:
Random Access Memory (RAM): All Macs come with at least 2GB (2 gigabytes) of RAM. Having more RAM lets you do more things at a time and is especially important if you work with very large files, such as movies.
Hard drive mass storage: A bigger hard drive means more space for music, photos, and video files. Some models include solid state drives instead of, or in addition to, traditional hard drives. These offer faster performance but are more expensive for the same amount of storage.
Graphics: All Macs include a graphics processor unit (GPU) to speed the display of pictures and video. The low-end version of Mac mini and 11- and 13-inch Mac laptops use an Intel HD 3000 graphics processor integrated into the CPU chip set. Higher-end models add more powerful GPUs in addition to the integrated unit. Serious gamers need the higher-performance GPUs.
High performance video output and data I/O: All new Macs include a Thunderbolt input/output port, which is compatible with Mini DisplayPort for output to high definition video displays and allows very high-speed peripherals to be connected as well.
LED displays: All Mac displays feature a screen that lights up using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) rather than the fluorescent lamps used in many other flat-panel displays, which contain trace amounts of mercury, a hazardous material.
Headset jack: All Macs have a minijack that works with regular headphones and also supports Apple iPhone compatible headsets, so you can use such a headset to make FaceTime and iChat calls. High-end Macs have a separate audio line-in jack as well.
Software: All new Macs come with OS X Lion software, and all Macs except the Apple mini server include the integrated iLife suite of digital lifestyle applications.
Wireless networking support: All new Macs have built-in wireless networking using the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards. Apple was the first computer company to embrace Wi-Fi, using Apple’s own brand name, AirPort.
Wired networking support: All new Macs, except the minimalist, ultrathin MacBook Airs, have Gigabit Ethernet jacks for wired networking and connecting to high-speed cable and DSL modems.
No built-in dialup modems or floppy drives: You can buy an Apple Modem (a small external modem) as an accessory, and external USB floppy drives are available from third parties.
SuperDrive: All models except the mini and MacBook Air can read, play, and write (burn) CDs and multilayer DVDs, incorporating what Apple calls a SuperDrive. Apple offers an optional external SuperDrive for the mini and Air and software that allows these models to use a CD/DVD reader on another Mac or even a PC.
HD support: Apple displays are normally set up with a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is ideal for HD video.
Fewer virus attacks:
As macOS is the second most used operating system and has less number of active users so it has fewer virus attacks also. The other reason of virus safety is its UNIX relationship which is more secure than Windows OS.
Good customer support:
Mac users get good response from its support team as compared to other operating systems. Apple has skilled engineers which helps the user in fixing the issues in their hardware and software.
Similar GUI for all the products:
macOS has same graphical user interface (GUI) as found in other Apple products like iPhone and tablets. Users feel comfortable in using macOS if they shifted from other Apple products.
Performance and long life:
As Apple makes both hardware and software so it’s hardware communication is very efficient and it improves performance. The operating system and hardware work great. Apple computer has a longer life than other computers. The battery timing of mac laptops is also longer.
If you install Windows then it comes with pre-installed apps which slow down your computer e.g. Onedrive slows your computer. But this is not the case with macOS, it comes with powerful apps which don’t affect performance of your system. Some of the pre-installed apps of macOS are iPhoto and iMovie.
Support NTFS and FAT:
macOS support Windows file system formats including both NTFS and FAT.
Can run Windows:
You can run the Windows operating system if you have macOS installed by using Bootcamp or parallels software.
The minimum cost of a Mac PC is higher than $1000. You can get good Windows PC at $1000 with more hardware specification.
Fewer games and software:
Most game developers prefer to make games for the Windows OS because they have more percentages of users. Mac users have fewer games available. Also, mac computers have low graphics capability to run high graphics games. There is some software which is available for Windows and not available for mac users e.g. adobe premiere pro etc.
No hardware customization:
If you buy any Mac computer/laptop then you cannot change its hardware parts like processor, graphics card etc. For some mac computers, you can change hardware and RAM but it is not for all mac computers. It is also not possible to change other hardware accessories like internal computer parts, the only choice you have is to buy a new mac computer. On every major release of your operating system you have to change your computer else 50% of your operating system features not work.
Windows cannot read the macOS file system:
macOS can read NTFS and FAT Windows format but Windows cannot read the macOS file system. You need to install 3rd party software in Windows to do so. Some other software like footnotes has compatibility issues while moving files from macOS to Windows.
Less hardware used:
The new version of macOS computer supports less USB ports and they also not shipped with CD/DVD writer.
Source: Applesupport, WIkipedia
The Tech Platform