Apple's decision to hand over portions of the next version of its operating system (OS) to the Open Source community came to fruition last week when the first product from the project was released.
More than a year ago, Apple detailed plans to release some elements of the source code of the Mac OS X to software developers (CRN, 24 March 1999). Now the vendor has finally unveiled a complete version 1.0 of its Darwin server project.
Darwin 1.0 includes the latest Mach microkernel and FreeBSD layers and supports the Kernel Extension Developer that develops drives and modules.
Registered software developers can now customise the core code of the OS to enhance its performance, Apple said.
In a statement, Philip Schiller, vice-president of worldwide product marketing at Apple, said: "Mac OS X is the only mainstream OS following an Open Source model. Darwin includes some of the most advanced OS technology available and it is open to our customer and developers so that we can collaborate on the future of the Mac OS."
Observers claim Darwin is an attempt by Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, to fight off the threat of the emerging Linux OS and expand the vendor's appeal among developers. Apple is also hoping that developers will help it to fix any bugs in Mac OS X before the platform is released this summer.
Apple also announced an update to Darwin streaming server, the Open Source version of its QuickTime streaming server software. The Darwin version of the software will now be made available on Window NT-based systems. The extension of the software to the Microsoft platform means that Apple's multimedia project is now present on five platforms, including Linux and Solaris.
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