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Taligent (a portmanteau of Talent and Intelligent)[1] was the name of an object-oriented operating system and the company dedicated to producing it. Initially started as a project within Apple Computer to produce a replacement for the Mac OS, it was later spun off into a joint venture with IBM in order to build a competing platform to Microsoft Cairo and NeXTSTEP, as part of the AIM alliance. Taligent was dissolved in the late 1990s.


Pink and Blue

What would eventually become Taligent started in a roundabout way in 1988. After Apple Computer's latest effort to develop a new Macintosh had culminated in the Macintosh II, a new version of the Mac OS had been developed to support it, System 4.1. During the initial planning for the operating system to follow System 4.1, new ideas were written down on index cards. Ideas that were simple and could be included in a new version of the existing software were written on blue colored cards, those that were more advanced or took longer to implement were written on pink cards[2]. A new operating system, code-named Pink, was planned based on the ideas written on the pink index cards. Pink was to be a completely new object-oriented OS implemented in C++ on top of a new microkernel, running a new GUI that nevertheless looked and felt like the existing Mac. In addition to running programs written for Pink, the system was to be capable of running existing Mac OS programs.

Development begins

Efforts to develop Pink started around 1989, although at the time the effort was primarily a research effort.

By this time, however, the team writing the system based on the blue cards (now known as the "Blue Meanies") were well advanced on what would be released in 1991 as System 7. The problem was that System 7 was so large in memory terms that it would barely fit into existing Macintosh models, meaning that if Pink were going to run Mac OS programs by emulating System 7, it would have no room left over for itself.

Meanwhile, corporate immune response within Apple doomed Pink. To those working on Blue, Pink was seen as a project that might steal mind share from their own work. As the turf war grew, engineers started to abandon Pink to work on Blue, and whole projects were brought into one group or another in a huge flurry of empire-building.

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