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Apple is Running Out of Cats! Will OS X Ocelot be Next?

Apple is Running Out of Cats! Will OS X Ocelot be Next?

Brian Caufield of Forbes takes note that Apple may be running out of cats to name their operating systems after. Could “Ocelot” be the moniker for the next version of Mac OS X? Has the end-of-the-year “silly season” news cycle already begun?

Caufield writes:

Ten years ago, Apple introduced the first major release of its OS X operating system, Cheetah. Since then, all new versions of the operating system have been named after big cats. The cats give the Cupertino, Calif-based company’s software an aura of power, elegance, and beauty. …The problem: there are only so many kinds of cats.

Apple has slowly worked it’s way through the feline kingdom with it’s naming convention for the various versions of OS X. Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and the latest Lion have all graced versions of Apple’s venerable operating system. What’s next?

Caufield muses:

First they’ll have to come up with a name. That could be hard. All of the animals Apple has used come from Felidae family in the Carnivora order of mammals. Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, and Leopard all come from the subfamily known as Pantherinae. Cheetah comes from the other still-living subfamiily, felinae.

There are a lot of other cats left. None of them are particularly intimidating though. The Eurasian Lynx, can weigh as much as 66 pounds. Even less fearsome: the Eurasian Lynx’s North American cousin, the bobcat; the ocelot — the biggest of the dinky Leopardus genus; and felix catus, the domestic cat.

Caufield theorizes that “Cougar” could be next, although in my humble opinion, since OS X is getting a bit long in the tooth, Apple might be opening the door for all sorts of jokes about “Cougars”. (An older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man.)

Could there be another group of animals Apple could begin borrowing from? “The other group of carnivores that people get excited about is the bears,” says Reginald Barrett, a professor of wildlife biology at UC Berkeley, “There’s a whole bunch of bears around the world.” (The “public beta” of the first version of OS X was codenamed “Kodiak“)

Birds are a possibility. “You’ve got all the raptors,” Barrett says. ‘The raptors are the equivalent of the Felidae, they specialize in preying on other things. The most valued species of wildlife in North America is the bald eagle, for obvious reasons,”

By the way, Windows 7 is on the market, and Microsoft’s code-name for the next version? YAWN! Windows 8.