The Macintosh, or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers, manufactured by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced on January 24, 1984, by Steve Jobs and it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature two old known then, but still unpopular features—the mouse and the graphical user interface, rather than the command-line interface of its predecessors.
Production of the Mac is based on a vertical integration model in that Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system (called System Software, later renamed to Mac OS, see the lower image) that is pre-installed on all Mac computers. This is in contrast to most IBM PC compatibles, where multiple sellers create hardware intended to run another company’s operating software. Apple exclusively produces Mac hardware, choosing internal systems, designs, and prices. Apple also develops the operating system for the Mac, currently Mac OS X version 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. 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 Mac OS X for use on non-Apple computers.