I have seen certain places where it is claimed that Apple is retroactively rebranding Mac OS X/OS X as macOS now that Sierra has launched. Some people disagree that this is occurring since as of now, not everything (not even the majority of material) reflects the change.

Is there solid evidence of this changeover?

  • Obviously I have my view, but I did post this to get other views as well. I'm holding off on accepting any answers to see if there's any counter-viewpoints that "show their work", as it were. – tubedogg Oct 6 '16 at 4:31

Yes, there is proof of this change in several places.

First and foremost, it should be made clear that this change is not being applied to old OS releases in the sense that if you boot into an OS prior to 10.12 Sierra, and go to Apple menu > About This Mac, you will not see it suddenly say "macOS" instead of "Mac OS X" or "OS X". The change is in relation to documentation and references in updated software, such as the startup disk selection screen in Sierra.

Here is a screenshot to illustrate:

enter image description here

There are places on Apple's own website where the change can be seen (although, again, it is not nearly everywhere).

This developer page about Xcode states:

Xcode 8 requires a Mac running macOS El Capitan version 10.11.4 or later.

In the description of a video from a session at WWDC 2016, there is this language:

Launched last year with iOS 9 and macOS El Capitan, the new Transit feature ...

Found on this marketing page, in a footnote describing system requirements is this text:

Some features require iOS 9 and macOS El Capitan.

There are a couple of Apple support articles, listed below, which refer to a number of OS versions in a row behind macOS.

If your web browser says that it's missing the Quicktime plug-in:

This plug-in is no longer enabled in macOS Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, and Mavericks.

Printer and scanner software for macOS Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, and Mavericks. (This one is right there in the title.)

Other companies/projects are recognizing this, too, such as PostgreSQL:

Apple has decided to rename Mac OS X to "macOS", and apparently is now retroactively referring to old releases that way too.

  • 1
    Does that mean I have an old machine now running macOS 9.2? :D – Williham Totland Oct 6 '16 at 10:53
  • @WillihamTotland Not unless 9.2 was originally called OS X :P – tubedogg Oct 6 '16 at 17:54
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    So there's now macOS 9 and Mac OS 9? That's not going to be confusing at all. (I sound sarcastic, but really, it isn't. Not a lot of people running Mac OS 9 these days. ;) – Williham Totland Oct 6 '16 at 20:38
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    @WillihamTotland Where are you getting macOS 9? There's iOS 9 but macOS starts with 10.x. – tubedogg Oct 6 '16 at 20:40
  • @tubedogg toastytech.com/guis/macos9.html – Borys Verebskyi Oct 6 '16 at 23:34

It is weird, as Apple officially abandoned the Mac OS-X in favor of OS-X. I saw and heard it personally in the opening keynote of one of the previous WWDC - can't recall which.

When they did - I thought it might signify their plans to extend supported hardware beyond Macintosh computers to other hardware.

If you are correct, and Apple intentionally restore their old brand name for Mac OS (actually the branding used for Mac OS Classic) than maybe such plans were deserted?

  • With the exception of the iPod line pre-iPod touch, OS X has always been the basis for Apple's mobile devices, though that started in 2007 which pre-dates Mac OS X dropping "Mac" in 2012. I don't believe they had any intention to expand support for other hardware. They tried that once already. Also note that Mac OS and macOS are not the same. I'm not saying they didn't notice the similarity, but I do not believe they intended to draw parallels to Mac OS with the new name so much as they were just trying to align their OS names across platforms. – tubedogg Oct 14 '16 at 4:55

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