OSx86 spreading like wildfire

Written by Jason Cundall

August 15, 2005 | 12:43

Tags: #osx #tpm

Companies: #amd #apple #intel

With the switch to Intel processors, Apple may have let the OSX genie out of the bottle to such a degree that they might not be able to get it back in again.

As you know, Cupertino has had to make available developer kits that run the x86 flavoured Apple OS. These machines come with plenty of caveats and legal red tape to stop any normal, Steveo-fearing mac-o-phile from even thinking of uploading the OS onto a torrent site.

Nonetheless, all of the leagalese plus TPM has failed abysmally under the onslaught of several million OSX-curious geeks.

So It's running free in torrent-space - and the web is abound with stories of people getting it to run on Intel boxes, AMD systems and, I'm sure (if you look hard enough), their microwaves:

Imagine if your next Mac cost you only $300, and ran faster than any G4 or G5 you've ever used.

That future may already be unfolding: Hackers have found a way to bypass a chip designed to prevent the Mac OS from running on non-Apple PCs, which are often cheaper than Macs.

Some of the hackers are running the tweaked version of the operating system on their PCs natively. Others are using the system with VMware, which allows the Mac OS to support more PC hardware.

Hackers and curious computer users this week have been downloading the tweaked Mac OS X for PCs, nicknamed "OSx86," from several websites connected to the BitTorrent file-distribution system.

OSx86 is designed to run on Apple Computer's next generation of hardware, which some call "MacIntels" and others "MacTels" because the machines will run on Intel microprocessors rather than the PowerPC processor used in current Macs. The hacked version of OSx86 is based on pirated software, which came from copies of the operating system sent to participants in the Apple Developer Connection. The ADC participants also received MacIntel computers for testing and development.

Now the hacked version of OSx86 is running on Dell laptops and other PCs with Intel and AMD microprocessors.

More from Wired here.

So is this a monumental cock up on Apple's part, or part of a much cleverer long game posited by "Mashugly" - Inasmuch as this is just a ruse by Steve to license OSX to other kit builders, and the switch to Intel and subsequent 'leak' is a 'well, I tried' pitch to the shareholders?

An interesting theory, eh? I'm sure you'll all want to comment on it in our news discussion forum.
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