As it looks like later today we will be receiving news on Mac OS 10.7, presumed to be called “Lion”, we thought it might be interesting to look back over the history of the big cat names that have come with each version of Apple’s Mac OS X line.

Starting with Version 10.0 in 2001, Apple used codenames for internal purposes while working on its new operating system.  This is not uncommon amongst software companies, and all versions of Mac OS 9 were named for musical terms like “Sonata”, they just weren’t that well known outside of the company.  For some reason, probably due to the proliferation of the Internet, by the time 10.2, “Jaguar” rolled around in 2002, the “codenames” were widely known, and Apple’s marketing department decided to start using them in promotions.

Snow LeopardNow hat the names are used with pride, here is how the names have progressed through out the line:

  • Version 10.0: “Cheetah”
  • Version 10.1: “Puma”
  • Version 10.2: “Jaguar”
  • Version 10.3: “Panther”
  • Version 10.4: “Tiger”
  • Version 10.5: “Leopard”
  • Version 10.6: “Snow Leopard”
  • Version 10.7: “Lion” (presumed)

The “Lion” name for 10.7 comes from the invitation to the announcement event showing a lion behind the Apple logo.  This makes me at least somewhat curious if we may be seeing the end of he OS X line.  With lions being considered the “king of the jungle”, any big cat after it would seem like a bit of a let down, so it seems like this would be a good time for the company to look towards OS 11 (OS XI?).

OS X has had the longest history with the company, and it looks like since we will be carrying into 2011, it will be ten years since the first version, so it seems like as good a time as any to move on to another generation of the system.  I wonder what the naming will be … will we move on to dogs?  I’m down for Mac OS XI “Daschund”.

What say you?  Does the “Lion” name imply the end of the line for Mac OS X?