Since the times of version 10.2, the internal code name of OS X major releases has become public knowledge and Apple has started using it in marketing. While there is a whole series of arguments for and against the usage of a non-sequential version numbering, I would say that in the case of operating systems it works just fine. After all, people only have to remember what the current release’s name is, and maybe the names of the two that came before it. Not a big deal.
The current version of OS X, 10.6, is called Snow Leopard, while 10.5 was Leopard. Biologically, they are indeed different animals, but Apple’s goal was to make it clear that 10.6 was visually not too different from its immediate predecessor, and that many of the improvements happened under the hood.
As is common in the world of Apple-related rumors, much speculation about the code name of the still-unannounced 10.7 release. It seems that Apple is running out of big cats:
- 10.0 — Cheetah
- 10.1 — Puma
- 10.2 — Jaguar
- 10.3 — Panther
- 10.4 — Tiger
- 10.5 — Leopard
- 10.6 — Snow Leopard
So will we have Lion, or maybe Lynx? Certainly not Ocelot, since it’s not a big/wild cat.
Is Apple saving the name “Clouded Leopard” for a subsequent release that will be focused on, well, cloud computing? That would be neat indeed.
Cougar, of course, would seem out of place, given its sexual implications in American English. But keep in mind that we’re talking about a company who actually named a product iPad, which kind of proves that don’t have any women in their marketing department. Not that iPod makes much sense either, but come on, iPad?
Yet… think about it: OS X is quite a mature operating system at this point, and it will certainly love new machines. So bring it on, OS X 10.7 Cougar!