What Will the Last OS X Be Named?

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Numbers don’t lie: when it’s released later this year, OS X version 10.9 will unquestionably be the last major upgrade to the venerable OS. But there are only a few cat species left to choose a name from. Which one will Apple pick? Which one would you pick?

A few months ago, a rumor circulated that OS X 10.9 would be named “Lynx.” It’s a valid possibility, since Lynx is one of the few cats Apple hasn’t yet used to name its desktop/laptop operating system. As a quick review, here’s the names of versions 10.0 through 10.8.

Version Name
10.0 Cheetah
10.1 Puma
10.2 Jaguar
10.3 Panther
10.4 Tiger
10.5 Leopard
10.6 Snow Leopard
10.7 Lion
10.8 Mountain Lion

Can you believe it’s been almost twelve years since OS X was first released? The major leap forward that OS XI absolutely must be is a topic we’ll discuss another day. (Think maybe they’ll use dog species names for XI?) For now, we still have 10.9 to go, which means there will be one more cat. Unless Apple surprises us all and skips 10.9 altogether. But that seems unlikely.

Keep in mind that Apple only picks well-known cat names for its OSes, so I think it’s safe to say there won’t be a Mac OS X 10.9 Asian Golden Cat. They pick cats that the general public has heard of, not obscure or extinct species. Just for fun, here’s a quick look at the remaining feline possibilities. I think there are only four remaining options that Apple would consider viable.


Bobcat: Even though it’s a well-known species, it’s another name for the North American Lynx. So if this cat gets the nod, “Lynx” is the more likely candidate. Odds of use: 1:5.


Cougar: The slang term “cougar” is commonly used these days in reference to a single, middle-aged woman who’s still considered attractive to younger males. If not for this, “Cougar” would stand a much better chance. But it ain’t happening. Odds of use: 1:8.


Lynx: It’s short, it’s cool-sounding (an X can make anything sound cutting-edge), and the lynx cat itself has a very distinctive appearance, which would look great on packaging and marketing materials. On the downside, it sounds an awful lot like rival operating system Linux. But it’s by far the best candidate. This is The One, Neo. Odds of use: 2:1.


Ocelot: Not as well known as the other three, but not completely obscure, either. Like the Lynx, it also boasts a very distinct look. Still, I can’t imagine it would be at the top of anyone’s wishlist among the naming committee over at Apple Inc. Odds of use: 1:4.

There are some other candidates, like Jungle Cat, Margay, Oncilla, Serval, Wildcat, and a few more. But none of them are nearly as popular as the other cats in the OS X list.

Let’s hear your thoughts. What will the very last version ever of OS X be called?

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

8 thoughts on “What Will the Last OS X Be Named?

  1. Because it could never go to 10.10? 10.11? Why not? They have done it before, 10.4.11 etc. Its not a single decimal number you know, its just segmented version numbers.

  2. I don’t agree with the author’s assumption the OS X ends at version 10.9. Is that because the author doesn’t believe Apple would use 10.10? That revisioning method is standard practice, and much more likely than the hinted OS XI.

  3. Fair point. Never really occurred to me, but you’re right — there’s no reason they couldn’t do that. Doesn’t this line of thinking lead to a gigantic elephant in the room, though?

    Namely, how many incremental upgrades to OS X do we really need? OS X can’t go on forever. Compared to the shelf-lives of earlier Mac OSes, not to mention the speed at which iOS gets new version numbers, OS X is positively ancient.

    I know, I know, it’s just a bunch of arbitrary numbers. But at the end of the day, the numbers aren’t really the point. The point is… It’s been 12 years. Isn’t it time for Apple to wow us with a whole new Mac OS? Something that changes the entire paradigm for the next generation of personal computing. I’m ready to see what that looks like. Aren’t you?

  4. I really hope they don’t choose Cougar. You do realize a cougar is a Mountain Lion right? But then again a Puma is a Mountain Lion also. So maybe a third time is the charm.

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