The Macintosh (/ˈmækɨntɒʃ/ MAK-in-tosh), marketed as Mac, is a line of personal computers (PCs) designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It is targeted mainly at the home, education, and creative professional markets, and includes the descendants of the original iMac, the entry-level Mac mini desktop model, the Mac Pro tower graphics workstation, and the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Its Xserve server was discontinued on January 31, 2011.
Apple Inc.'s then-chairman Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh on January 24, 1984. It became the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface, rather than a command-line interface. The Apple II saw success through the end of the decade, though popularity dropped in the 1990s as the personal computer market shifted toward the "Wintel" platform: IBM PC compatible machines running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. In 1998, Apple consolidated its multiple consumer-level desktop models into the all-in-one iMac, which proved to be a sales success and saw the brand revitalized.
Production of the Mac is based on a vertical integration model. Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system that is pre-installed on all Mac computers, unlike most IBM PC compatibles, where multiple sellers create and integrate hardware intended to run another company's operating software. Apple exclusively produces Mac hardware, choosing internal systems, designs, and prices. Apple uses third party components, however, such as graphics subsystems from nVidia and ATi. Current Mac CPUs use Intel's X86-64 architecture. The earliest models (1984–1994) used Motorola's 68k, and models from 1994 until 2006 used the AIM alliance's PowerPC. Apple also develops the operating system for the Mac, OS X, currently on version 10.8 "Mountain Lion". The modern Mac, like other personal computers, is capable of running alternative operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, and, in the case of Intel-based Macs, Microsoft Windows. However, Apple does not license OS X for use on non-Apple computers.
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