Mac OS X Upgrade Sheds Mac OS 9 Disk

In another step away from the Classic Mac OS, Apple will omit a Mac OS 9 installation disk from the retail version of Mac OS X 10.2, a k a Jaguar.

While Apple Computer Inc.s new "Jaguar" (Version 10.2) upgrade for Mac OS X adds a number of new features, one longstanding component will be missing: an installation disk for Mac OS 9.

OS 9 has been included with past versions of Mac OS X, working with Apples modern operating system to provide a Classic compatibility layer for legacy applications.

Sales representatives for Apples online store told callers this week that an OS 9 CD will not be present in the boxed retail copy of 10.2. Reps did say, however, that Mac OS 9 will be available for purchase at its traditional $99 price tag via phone only, leaving the option open for users who dont have a copy already installed.

Apple announced at Julys Macworld Expo/New York that Jaguar will hit retail channels Aug. 24; it will come pre-loaded on the new Power Mac G4 towers slated to begin shipping this week.

Macworld UK reports that an OS 9 installation CD wont be included with the new Apple hardware. While Apple will continue to pre-install it on new Macs, OS 9 will be provided only on a restore disk.

This move is another step away from Mac OS 9, which the company has continued to update since the release of OS X two years ago. At Mays Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., CEO Steve Jobs began his keynote by reading a eulogy for the classic OS. "It isnt dead for our customers yet," Jobs told developers, "but its dead for you."

Additionally, a tweak in future Apple hardware will prevent booting directly into OS 9, eWEEK reported earlier this month. While OS 9 will continue to serve as the Classic environment, sources said that the next major OS X update, code-named Pinot, will likely enforce a Mac OS X-only policy.

Representatives for Apple did not return calls requesting comment.

Nick dePlume is the editor in chief of Think Secret.