January 16, 1997: 7.6 Brings a Taste of Obsolescence

Mac OS 7.6 was the first installment of planned bi-yearly system releases. More interestingly, it was the first Mac OS release that didn’t work on every Mac. If you were using anything from an original Mac to a Mac IIcx and wanted to run 7.6, you were out of luck, much to the dismay of the people still productively using the older machines.
New stuff that excited users about System 7.6 included an extensions manager, QuickDraw 3D and improved reliability. With the improvements, predictably, came a few bugs. Popular programs such as Speed Doubler, Toast and Adobe’s Premiere all suffered under the new system. In retrospect those were minor issues because even contemporaneously released Macs such as the Performa line couldn’t run 7.6. Apple quickly went to work on a free update: the must-have 7.6.1.
Bugs and incompatibility aside, Mac OS 7.6 was released to hungry Mac fans this month in 1997.