24 March 2011

Bertrand Serlet (father of Mac OS X) leaves Apple

In one of those curious twists of fate, when Apple fired Steven Jobs in 1985, it couldn't have know that this would lead to the salvation of the company. Jobs formed another company, NeXT, to build a new computer with which he hoped to beat Apple to death. Joining his team from Xerox was a French-educated computer scientist named Bertrand Serlet. When Apple, on the brink of bankruptcy, acquired NeXT in 1996 to build a new Mac operating system, they acquired as well Jobs and Serlet.

The latter turned out to be the company's saviour. His was the main brain behind Mac OS X, which not only powers Apple’s Mac computers, but the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as well, all huge money-makers for Apple.

Now Serlet is moving on. A day before OS X turned 10 years old, he announced he was departing Apple. "At this point, I want to focus less on products and more on science,” he explained. All Mac users, of which I am one—I've never owned another computer—owe Serlet a big thank you. Apple's loss will be science's gain.

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