Apple may rebrand OS X as 'MacOS' this summer

Since-changed reference spotted on Apple's website

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Apple may be getting ready to rebrand its OS X operating system as MacOS, according to a since-altered page on the Cupertino, Calif. company's website.

The page, which touted Apple's environmental efforts, used "MacOS" rather than "OS X" to label the Mac's operating system. The Apple-focused website 9to5Mac noted the use of the new name late Thursday.

Apple has changed that page, which now refers to "OS X."

The rebranding would put the Mac's operating system more in sync with the nomenclature of Apple's other OSes, including "iOS," "tvOS" and "watchOS."

OS X as a brand originated in 2000, when it was officially designated "Mac OS X." But "Mac OS" was used before that, notably during the span of 1995 through 1997, when Apple licensed third-party OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to build and sell Mac clones. Co-founder Steve Jobs ended that strategy shortly after he returned to Apple in 1997. Apple retains U.S. trademark rights to "Mac OS;" those rights were last renewed in 2015. No active trademarks for "MacOS" were found in a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's database.

Prior to Mac OS, Apple simply dubbed the Macintosh operating system as "System."

OS X is currently at version 11, and carries the moniker "El Capitan," in line with Apple's 2013 switch to California place names.

Because Apple traditionally announces the year's OS X upgrade at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), any rebranding to MacOS would likely occur there.

While Apple has not yet set the dates for this year's WWDC, the most probable are June 13-17. The conference's long-time venue, the Moscone West convention hall in San Francisco, has been booked for the week prior and for part of the week following. According to the center's website, West is available for the week starting June 13.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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