The main goal of this project was to develop an updated version of Mac SO. Copeland was an SO meant to add new technologies, while keeping compatibility with the previous system, on the way to fully protected and multiprocessing SO named Gershwin. Apple promised a Beta version release by the end of 1995, and the final release by mid-1 996. The target for Apple was to beat Microsoft to market their Windows project. Apple was struggling with good leadership in 1995.
The CEO John Scullery had appointed two teams Blue and Pink to work on different projects. The blue team succeeded and plopped the system 7, but the pink team suffered with their project. So, the engineers on pink, jumped ships to work on blue team, abandoning their own project. The same thing happened with Copeland. The developers in Apple started abandoning their own projects in order to work on the new system. This was the time when John Scullery resigned and a new CEO Gill Amelia took over.
He hired Ellen Hancock from National Semiconductor and put her in charge of the project. Ellen realized that the project was going nowhere and it was best to cancel the project outright and look for a suitable third-party solution for the system. The project was closed in August 1 996, and after a small search, Apple announced that they are buying NeXT, to use their Inexistent SO as a base for the new Mac SO. The best part about this project was that Apple got back Steve Jobs back in an advisory role.
In 2008, Popcorn magazine named Copeland to a list of the biggest failures in IT history. The project was a failure because, it was just a collection of separate pieces, each being worked on by different teams, which were expected to somehow magically come together.