System 7.1, released in 1992, was an important (yet costly, as it was the first OS upgrade with a compulsory price tag attached to it) system update.
The most important aspect of System 7.1 was the System Enabler scheme. Instead of rolling out updates for every new Mac (as was the case with System 7.0 / System 7.0.1), all Macintosh computers would now make use of an Enabler.
Apple's internationalisation commitment began with System 7.1. The update enabled (however, it did not include) WorldScript, and to this end, new and related control panels came out (e.g. Date & Time, Numbers, etc...). Although of little use to North American and other predominantly English-speaking users, this was very important for users elsewhere (e.g. in Asia, the Arabian nations, etc...).
Two major enhancements included QuickTime 1.5 and the introduction of the much-needed Fonts folder. Fonts need no longer be stored in a bloating System file; they can now fit directly into the new Fonts folder.
System Update 3.0, Macintosh Drag 'N' Drop, and Sound Manager were included in the System Update 3.0 for Macintosh System 7.1 package.
With the Enabler scheme in place, Macs running System 7.1 and later required three items in the System Folder to be assured of even the ability to start up:
- System file
- System Enabler appropriate for your Macintosh
- At Ease 1.0
- QuickTime 1.5
- CD-ROM - (CD-ROM software features, Apple CD-ROM, Foreign File Access, Apple Photo Access, etc.)
- Speech Manager 1.1.1 - (shipped with Quadra 660AV & Quadra 840AV models)