250px-Imac_2007.png150px-Macintosh_128k_transparency.pngMacintosh, commonly known as Mac, is a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. Named after the McIntosh variety of apple, the original Macintosh was released on January 24, 1984. It used a graphical user interface (GUI) and mouse instead of the then-standard command line interface. The current range of Macs varies from Apple's entry level Mac mini desktop, to a mid-range server, the Xserve. Mac systems are mainly targeted at the home, education, and creative professional markets. Production of the Mac is based upon a vertical integration model in that Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system that is pre-installed on all Macs. This is in contrast to most IBM compatible PCs, where one vendor provides the operating system and multiple vendors create the hardware. In both cases, the hardware can run other operating systems; modern Macs, like other PCs, are capable of running operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, etc.
Original Macintosh computers used the Motorola 68k family of microprocessors, but later models switched to Motorola and IBM's PowerPC range of CPUs in 1994. Apple began a transition from the PowerPC line to Intel's x86 architecture in 2006, which for the first time allowed Macs to run native operating system binaries for the x86 architecture. Current Macs use the Intel Core 2 and Intel Xeon 5100 series microprocessors. All current Mac models come pre-installed with a native version of the latest Mac OS X, which is currently at version 10.4.10 and is commonly referred to by its code name of "Tiger". Apple has announced that Mac OS X v10.5, codenamed "Leopard", is set to be released in October of 2007.