Apple Extends Mac OS 9 Booting

Through June, late adopters will still be able to buy a few configurations that start up under the classic Mac OS.

Mac users in the market for new systems that boot into Mac OS 9 will be able to shop a little longer, Apple Computer Inc. has announced.

Modifying its September announcement that new Macs will boot only Mac OS X as of January, Apple has moved the deadline back to June—at least for a selection of current Mac models.

While it claimed that more than 80 percent of professional Mac users now employee Mac OS X, Apple said it will continue to offer the current top-of-the-line Power Mac G4 tower with the option of Mac OS 9 booting for the next six months. "To accommodate a minority of our pro customers still running Mac OS 9 applications such as QuarkXPress, Apple will continue to offer a 1.25GHz, dual-processor Power Mac that will boot into Mac OS 9 until June 30, 2003," the company said in a statement.

The looming deadline for Mac OS X-only booting has sparked concerns among some professional users, especially publishers who employ Quark XPress. The cornerstone page-layout application does not yet run natively on Mac OS X, although Denver-based Quark has said it plans to release a Mac OS X version that sources suggested would arrive no earlier than mid-year.

Apple also announced that until June 2003, education buyers will be able to purchase eMac, iBook, and entry-level, CRT-based iMac models that boot into Mac OS 9. According to the statement, education customers are now ordering more than 50 percent of their Macs with Mac OS X as the default.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs first announced the end of the line for booting out of Mac OS 9 at Septembers Apple Expo in Paris. As eWEEK first reportedat the beginning of August, users of the new systems will still be able to run most Mac OS 9 applications within Mac OS Xs Classic environment.

Over the past year, Jobs has pressed third-party developers to focus on Mac OS X and forego future plans for Mac OS 9.

At Mays Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Jobs theatrically eulogized Mac OS 9, displaying a boxed copy in a coffin while funereal music blared from speakers. Mac OS 9 "isnt dead for our customers yet," he told assembled software and hardware developers, "but its dead to you."