Anil writes about the arrogance of Apple, and makes specific reference to the feline monikers that they apply to each operating system upgrade:
Referring to versions of OS X by cat names, when those names appear nowhere in the operating system itself, seems astoundingly user-hostile. I have no idea what the cat name is for the operating system I’m running, and yet when I try to evaluate shareware, the authors are often asking me if I’m a panther or a tiger or something. Hasn’t anybody noticed how stupid that is over at Apple?
Since switching to Apple a couple of years ago, this practice has always been a minor irritant. However, I don’t agree that it’s stupid.
Apple are masters of the cool, and this big cat argot is another means of differentiating Mac users from the unwashed masses. It’s a bit of secret taxonomy slang that’s only known to those higher-level acolytes in the Order. In a way, it’s sort of a lexical equivalent of vendor lock-in: “Learn the language and stick with us.”