Apple Network Server (1996 to 1997)
CPU class: PowerPC
OS: IBM AIX
Development status: Open
Platform size: 2
With the Apple Network Server series, Apple attempted to cater to the medium-range server market that would later be covered by the XServe. The machines themselves used underlying Macintosh technology, including PowerPC CPUs, but since they exclusively ran a modified version of IBM’s AIX operating system (IBM’s proprietary implementation of UNIX), Apple never referred to the machines as Macs.
Only two machines in this series, the 500 and the 700, reached the market. Their high price and bizarre mixed pedigree limited their appeal, and the platform met its end with Steve Jobs’ return to Apple in 1997.