Name That Cat: What Breed Should OS 10.7 Be?


OS X Liger?

OS X Liger?

Now that Snow Leopard is on the prowl, thoughts turn to what Mac OS 10.7 might be called.

When it was announced that Mac OS 10.6 would be christened “Snow Leopard,” there was some speculation that Apple (s aapl) was running out of big cat names for its OS X versions. OS X 10.1 was Puma, 10.2 Jaguar, 10.3 Panther, 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard, and 10.6 is Snow Leopard.

More likely is that Apple wanted to emphasize that 10.6 would not be a major new features upgrade (hence the relatively modest price of $29.95), but rather pretty much a code-slimming and streamlining revision of OS 10.5 Leopard, with Power PC support excised. That would make a name somewhat similar to OS 10.5 logical (although the Snow Leopard is actually a completely different species from Leopard).

There’s no danger of Apple running out of cat names anytime soon. According to one wild cat species resource site, there are 36 distinct species of non-domestic cats, although some are concededly so obscure that they wouldn’t be suitable for an operating system moniker (Jaguarundi, anyone?).

One cat name I like is Cougar, although an objection might be that it’s a synonym for Puma, which has already been used for OS 10.1, but then so is Panther in its North American context. The largest wild cat species on this continent is variously known as Cougar, Puma, Mountain Lion, Panther, Painter, and Catamount plus reportedly several dozen other less-widely used names that have been recorded across North and South America.

If Apple wanted a particularly exotic variant, they might consider Eastern Cougar, referencing cats some contend still range in small numbers east of the Mississippi River in the U.S., and Canada — an assertion that remains to be scientifically verified.

Perhaps the most likely not-yet-used for an OS X version would be Cheetah, with the positive association of being the fastest animal on the planet. Running flat out, the fastest horses might hit about 43 miles per hour, while a cheetah can touch 70 MPH in short bursts. Earlier this month a cheetah named Sarah, whose home is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, broke the world cheetah speed record in the 100-meter dash , covering the distance in 6.16 seconds — .06 seconds off the previous record set in 2001 by a cheetah living in South Africa.

Other Mac OS name candidates would be Ocelot, a primarily South and Central American cat that also ranges into Mexico and as far north as Texas, and the medium-sized North American Lynx and Bobcat. There’s Wildcat too, a name used by Grumman for a World War II vintage naval fighter aircraft, and of course “the king of beasts” — Lion, which for some reason hasn’t been used on an OS X version yet.

Still plenty of cat names to chose from. What’s your preference for OS 10.7?

Photo courtesy of allwest44.



well snow leopard was 10.6 and the average os x lasts what? a year and a half? so before it is time for a new os it will be 2011. os x came out in 2001 and apple said it would last ten years, so that makes os 11 due in 2011, so there probably won’t be a 10.7.


Lion just sounds lame to me. I bet they will go with repeating one of the older “good” ones but with a prefix like the “snow” in Snow Leopard, or one of the thousands of local variants of cat names like “BobCat” that aren’t really cat names at all, but still sound cool.

I agree with “justelise” in that better yet would be dropping the whole Cat thing altogether and starting fresh. Nothing says tacky like packages with leopard spots or tiger stripes. ;)

My vote for something new would be baryons of something. Like OS-X “Proton” or OS-X “Lepton.”


There’s Wildcat too, a name used by Grumman for a World War II vintage naval fighter aircraft…

So if fighter aircraft make it OK how about Tiger II?


No more cats. The groundwork has been laid down. It’s time to go up to 11.

(Also, I thought naming 10.5 Leopard to enable them using Snow Leopard for 10.6 was an ingenious bit of planning. I’m sure it was intentional.)


I like cougar best cause they’re death on four paws! Cheetah rocks, too. Lynx is a smaller but very lovely cat worthy of small upgrade to OS.

Aaron Smith

How about Toonces!

They could do a simultaneous roll out with iTunes 10 (X?) and offer a complete collection of Saturday Night Live in the Store, with special features narrated by everyone’s favorite cat, Toonces!.


Given that the next iteration of OS X will be older and more attractive, I’m going to have to go for Cougar too!


I’m not really all that concerned about naming conventions for the rest of the 10.x line. I’m wondering what Apple is gonna do for the 11.x line. I’m thinking since there is the Apple -> Pixar -> Disney -> Marvel Comics link, Apple could branch out into Marvel characters. Hulk, Phoenix, Storm, etc.


Awe man. I never actually thought of the connection to Marvel after the Disney merger. Off topic for this post, but maybe this could mean the first step toward offering digital comics, perhaps via iTunes? :)

alex Peterson

Lion seems like the only viable name they’ve got going for them…

Liger or Tigon would have a Lion + Tiger hybrid connotation that doesn’t make a lot of sense…

Ocelot could be the name of a Tablet OS since it’s a smaller cat? I think Lynx and Bobcat sorta have the same idea, smaller cats for a lighter operating system. They original Tablet OS would probably be called Bobcat because nobody’ll care about the name when the tablet is released. “Bobcat” doesn’t exactly strike awe into the hearts of fanboys.

Maybe they’ll make up a cat name… Or just switch to types of apples, red delicious, swiss, grannie smith.


Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard.

Next version: “Deaf Leopard”. Can’t wait…


For a more punk-rock approach, how about Alley Cat? (cues old lounge tune)…

Thomas Maier

Lion, I guess. Would be the only choise which makes sense. I don’t think that they are going to release OS 11 and they never will call it like that. what should be wrong with OS X 10.x to refresh all of it like they did after OS 9? Classic was crap. But OS X is not – so why switching? Everbody thought 10.6 would be called Lion or something and NOBODY thought of snow leopard. so why should the name be so abvious? Lioon could be… but I thing we should just wait and see.


I was going to say the same thing. Personally, I like Bobcat, Lion and Lynx.

Tm Puranen

I hope the next generation will be of mythical creatures, like OS Elven (Eleven), or Centaur. I heard microsoft will be forming a series of antagonist mythical OS’s, like the Microsoft Sauron, or MS Ba’al Zebûb.


My guess would be that they’re saving “Lion” for their final version of OS X, maybe right before they switch from OS X to OS 11 (or whatever new snazzy name they’ll cook up for it). I mean, can you imagine anyone being excited upgrading from, say, OS 10.8 Lion to OS 10.9 Bobcat? Or, for that matter, even from Lion to Cheetah? You can’t beat the king. Duh.

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