October 2, 2008 at 5:07 pm | blabbing, web.

OS X - LeopardSomeone asked me recently is Apples operating system was pronounced OS X (as in the letter X) or OS TEN (as in the roman numeral). I blurted out X the letter, even though most people at Apple and in other circles are calling it TEN.

If you look at the wikipedia entry for OS X, you will see a pronunciation guide right next to it that says it should be TEN. So for the Apple rubber stampers out there, I guess you win. I mean it is all still part of the 10.xxx family, but hear me out here.

Ten what?

Apple’s OS has had so many versions of TEN that they have all had to have their own CAT name to go along with it. Ever since September 2001.

  • Mac OS X Public Beta “Kodiak”
  • Mac OS X v10.0 “Cheetah”
  • Mac OS X v10.1 “Puma”
  • Mac OS X v10.2 “Jaguar”
  • Mac OS X v10.3 “Panther”
  • Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger”
  • Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard”
  • Mac OS X v10.6 “Snow Leopard”

TENGrid?How about XSan or XGrid and maybe XServe? Is it TENSan or TENGrid or TENServe? Have I been mispronouncing these products as well? Just take a look at the XSan landing page. Right in the title one of the capital Xs is X as in the letter, while the other is X as in the roman numeral.. If the same naming applies to the lower case “i” in other Apple products, does that mean that their actual name is “one” as in OnePhone and OneCal or how about OneTunes… Doesn’t really work that way does it.

So when people talk about OS TEN and most of them talk about it in a: “Our software supports MAC OS TEN” kinda way… Which TEN are they referring to? This is like saying “Our software supports Windows”… Well that is a very vague phrase… And in software support the version of the OS is VERY IMPORTANT… How about Windows? When was the last time your version of Windows was important when purchasing software or hardware?

Windows what? 3.1? Windows ME? Windows 2000, XP sp1, XP sp2, XP sp3, Vista. Imagine if the entire Windows OS line was all referred to as windows. How could you tell what would work with your system. Its all in the fine print…

TENServe?While I think the old roman numeral thing is nice, what happens after their through with 10? In ten years are we going to have an OS that looks like those super bowl commercials. I can’t even tell what that logo says anymore. Mac OS 11? This one goes to Eleven? XI? XI.5?

I think that they should move to the letter X because it has a beauty and mysteriousness to it. (eg. Racer X, X marks the spot, Compound X) It will make the move to successive versions easier and it will keep it all in the Apple Family. Maybe I just like X…. Roman numerals just remind me of Rocky Films. Maybe they should just stick with the cat names. I’d be down with that.