Why Mac OS X

By: Mikio Moriyasu - Revised: 2006-08-03 devin


Information about the benefits, technologies, services, and support for OS X.

Please note that the following information is based on features present in the latest release of Mac OS X, version 10.2 also known as "Jaguar".


The UNIX Core - Built on a state-of-the-art BSD UNIX implementation, Mac OS X offers advanced features such as protected memory, preemptive multitasking, advanced memory management, multi-user support, protected directories & files, protected individual preferences, and symmetric multiprocessing. The result is a Mac OS that adds greater stability, faster more reliable performance, and increased user friendliness to the Mac. For additional information, please click here.

Open Standards and Protocol Support - Apple's use of open standards allows developers to build upon and develop new technologies based on Mac OS X. As a result, robust and secure end-user products can be developed with greater ease. Other notable related features include:

  • Third-party device drivers are built-in (FireWire hard disk, 2 button mouse, digital cameras, etc.).
  • Built-in dual processor support for all Apple G4 dual processor machines and servers.
  • Protocol support for SMB/CIFS, WebDAV, and NFS file services.
For additional information, please click here.

Welcome Windows Users - Mac OS X provides point-and-click Windows file sharing making it faster and easier to connect to Windows servers and PCs. For additional information, please click here.


Infrastructure - Existing infrastructures such as Kerberos, LDAP, NDS, OpenAFS, and Active Directory can be integrated with Mac OS X to produce centralized authentication or roaming home directories. Users can have the same desktop, settings, preferences, and their preferred independent environment on any machine they use in properly equipped facilities. For additional information, please click here.

Graphics - Version 10.2 uses the G4 Velocity Engine to speed 2D graphics and unleashes Quartz Extreme. This breakthrough combination of OpenGL and today’s advanced graphics cards accelerates the compositing of 2D, 3D, and QuickTime content to enrich the users visual experience. The final result is "Aqua", the revolutionary Mac OS X's user interface. For additional information, please click here.

Audio - With Version 10.2, Mac OS X will now support high-resolution, multi-channel audio found in DVDs and 3D game audio. It also enhances professional audio features associated with the Macintosh platform, including multi-channel I/O, high-resolution audio handling, new MIDI capabilities, and DSP and virtual instrument plug-ins. For additional information, please click here.

Networking - Rendezvous is Apple's new networking technology that uses industry-standard IP networking protocol. This allows users to automatically create a network of computers, printers and other peripheral devices without having to manually configure drivers or settings. For additional information, please click here.

More Technologies - For more information regarding all of the technologies that went into the creation of Mac OS X, please click here.


iChat - Developed with AOL, this new application is a client compatible with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), allowing instant messaging between .Mac members, AOL members and AIM users. Best of all, it is free of annoying ads. For additional information, please click here.

Mail - Mac OS X's standards-based email program is designed to weed the junk mail out of your mailbox. It also features signature creation for your contact information and the ability to start "chatting" if your friends are online. For additional information, please click here.

Address Book - Built on the "vCard" open industry-standard format for storing contact information, users can add new contacts by simply dragging and dropping the information from incoming email directly into their lists. The information is entered automatically. For additional information, please click here.

Sherlock - In addition to locating hard-to-find information wherever it hides or resides on the Internet, Sherlock 3 now delivers the latest news, stock prices, as well as addresses, maps, and driving directions. For additional information, please click here. (link dead)

International - With full built-in Unicode support and a new Unicode Character Palette, Mac OS X features multi-language support that eliminates the need to purchase thousands of dollars worth of high quality fonts. Mac OS X supports non-Roman languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Thai, and Hebrew. For additional information, please click here.

The following examples are taken from the Tamiya INC. homepage at http://www.tamiya.co.jp.

Additional Features - For more information regarding all of the new and improved features of Mac OS X, please click here.


Software - Mac OS X has been designed to readily operate applications written for either UNIX, Classic Mac OS, and Windows.
  • UNIX software now runs on Mac OS X with little or no porting.
  • Older Mac OS software will run in the Classic (Mac OS 9.x) environment.
  • Carbon makes it easy to port Mac OS 9.x software to Mac OS X.
  • When Mac OS X is the default OS, virtually all other applications can be run when using OS emulation software such Virtual PC, XDarwin, XTools, XFree86, etc.

VirtualPC Screen Shot

Developers - Apple's integrated development environment for Mac OS X is Project Builder. It provides project editing, search and navigation, file editing, project building and debugging facilities for all types of Mac OS X software projects. For Version 10.2, this complete suite of professional-quality developer tools now features GCC 3.1, which radically improves C++ build times and standards-compliance. The updated Interface Builder makes it easier to group, lock and drag Aqua controls between windows for rapid user-interface creation. In addition to these features:
  • Cocoa is an incredibly fast Objective-C and Java development environment. Apple's Objective-C and Java API's do work that every application needs such as GUI creation and event handling, thus freeing developers to use their creative energy creating code that is unique to their application.
  • Native Java 2 support means that Java applications developed for other platforms will run on Mac OS X with no modifications.

Additional Information

For more information regarding Mac OS X, please click here.