It’s a small branding change, but it would make a lot of sense. Many different signs point to Apple abandoning the name “OS X” in favor of “MacOS”, or maybe “macOS” without a capital letter.
Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller first hinted at this change last year at WWDC in an interview with John Gruber. Then a configuration file mentioned macOS instead of OS X. And finally, a page on Apple’s own website said MacOS instead of OS X to describe Apple’s environmental initiatives.
That’s a whole lot of smoke. And TechCrunch has also heard things that this could be announced at WWDC in June.
This isn’t the first time Apple has rebranded its operating system for Mac. When the successor of Mac OS 9 was first announced, it was called Mac OS X. Apple dropped the “Mac” part in 2012.
At the time, Apple wanted to differentiate the device from the software element. iPhone OS became iOS in June 2010 as iOS runs on iPhones and iPads.
But, since then, Apple has released two new platforms based on iOS. The Apple TV now runs tvOS, and the Apple Watch runs watchOS. You can see the trend, right?
OS X now seems like an outdated brand compared to Apple’s other platforms. Similarly, keeping “ten” in the name suggests that OS X’s version number has been stuck for 15 years now. The reality is a bit different as Apple releases major versions of its Mac operating system every year.
But the thing that makes me believe that OS X is on the way out is much more obvious. Apple is about to announce iOS 10 at WWDC in June. Developers, journalists and Apple itself are going to talk about iOS 10 for months.
The iOS 10 and OS X names sound way too similar, especially when you hear someone talking about these operating systems. Rebranding OS X to MacOS would unify Apple’s operating system naming scheme, but it would be a much welcomed change to keep everyone on the same page when talking about new operating systems.