What is a “Macintosh” ?

The Macintosh (/ˈmækɨntɒʃ/ MAK-in-tosh), or Mac, is a series of personal computers (PCs) designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs introduced the original Macintosh computer on January 24, 1984. This was the first mass-market personal computer featuring an integral graphical user interface and mouse. This first model was later renamed to “Macintosh 128k” for uniqueness amongst a populous family of subsequently updated models which are also based on Apple’s same proprietary architecture. The Macintosh product family has been collectively and singularly nicknamed “Mac” or “the Mac” since the development of the first model.

The Macintosh, however, was expensive, which caused it to be overtaken in sales by the aggressively priced IBM Personal Computer and its accompanying clone market. Macintosh systems still found success in education and desktop publishing and kept Apple as the second-largest PC manufacturer for the next decade. In the 1990s, improvements in the rival Wintel platform, notably with the introduction of Windows 3.0, gradually took market share from the more expensive Macintosh systems. The performance advantage of 68000-based Macintosh systems was eroded by Intel’s Pentium, and in 1994 Apple was relegated to third place as Compaq became the top PC manufacturer. Despite a transition to the PowerPC-based Power Macintosh line in 1994, the falling prices of PC components and the release of Windows 95 saw the Macintosh user base decline.

In 1998, after the return of Steve Jobs, Apple consolidated its multiple consumer-level desktop models into the all-in-one iMac G3, which became a commercial success and revitalized the brand. Since their transition to Intel processors in 2006, the complete lineup is entirely based on said processors and associated systems. Its current lineup comprises three desktops (the all-in-one iMac, entry-level Mac mini, and the Mac Pro tower graphics workstation), and three laptops (the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Pro with Retina display). Its Xserve server was discontinued in 2011 in favor of the Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

Production of the Mac is based on a vertical integration model. Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system that is pre-installed on all Mac computers, unlike most IBM PC compatibles, where multiple sellers create and integrate hardware intended to run another company’s operating system. Apple exclusively produces Mac hardware, choosing internal systems, designs, and prices. Apple also develops the operating system for the Mac, currently OS X version 10.10 “Yosemite”. Macs are currently capable of running non-Apple operating systems such as Linux, OpenBSD, and Microsoft Windows with the aid of Boot Camp or third-party software. Apple does not license OS X for use on non-Apple computers, though it did license previous versions of Mac OS through their Macintosh clone program from 1995 to 1997.

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Source: Wikipedia

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