Apple to disable Atom support with OS X 10.6.2? (updated)

By on November 4, 2009, 7:06 PM
Update: The latest developer build (10C535) seems to have Atom support, so hackintosh users may be safe after all -- though, things could change by the final build.

According to OS X Daily, Snow Leopard version 10.6.2 will end support for Intel's Atom processor. This is an unfortunate blow to Hackintosh users who run OS X on netbooks, which are largely Atom-based. Those users will have to stick with an older copy of the Mac operating system, such as 10.6.1 (the latest Snow Leopard version) or 10.5.8 (the current Leopard release), as it is assumed that 10.5.9 will also bring the same Atom incompatibilities.

The move would highlight Apple's ongoing attempt to prevent users from running Mac OS X on unpermitted hardware. Mac clone maker Psystar has seen the brunt of Cupertino's struggle, having been engaged in lengthy court battles over the selling of unauthorized systems with Mac OS X. In October, Psystar began selling a $50 software hack that allows users to install Snow Leopard on some Intel-based PCs.

OS X Daily further speculates that 10.6.2 may be an effort to cripple Atom-based Hackintosh systems in anticipation of the long-rumored Apple Tablet. No matter Cupertino's motive, here's a heads up: if you're running OS X on an Atom, it's probably best to avoid 10.6.2 until a workaround is available.




User Comments: 45

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k0eff said:

Of course they must do that. I agree.

lupinnktp said:

another attempt to secure their market share and their "right" to sell hardwares. but then again perhaps the question is "can they (ever) keep up with the (overwhelming) community that is there to debut their resistance?". well, Apple has her business and IP rights, but do they care, really? or should they?!

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why would people use Mac on netbooks? If you want Mac you buy a mini mac or something like that... isn't it supossed to be best for media editing and stuff like that (Netbooks are a lot cheaper, but Mac doesn't really make up for the hardware they have).

I mean you want an UPMC in order to be able to connect anywhere anytime, so you want something universal, then microsoft is the way... right?

Acording to Marketshare.hitslink.com that would be Microsoft Windows with a huge window of 92.2% versus Macs with 5.27%, then comes Linux distros with a 0.96% and the rest of Operative Systems to come are Mobile like Symbian, iPhone, etc.

If we are talking about Atom powered Desktops, I insist, why Mac?

fida1989 said:

I don't think it will be a great idea.Apple should spread it's OS t low end PCs.

treeski treeski said:

Sounds like a bad marketing move to me. It just makes Apple look more like the bad guy, and I can't imagine that there are very many "Hackintosh" users. I feel like, if Apple wants to gain a bigger foothold on the computer market, they need their software to get around as much as possible.

It's all fine by me though, I'm really not a big Apple fan.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Treeski: But if they do allow it, they would loose a lot, the Mac bussiness is not on software, it's on pricy hardware.

If anyone could run Mac OS X on a realy low price PC then Mac gets nothing back.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@kibaruk... People might want to have a second or third PC they use for basic stuff, like word processing and the like, and would rather not have a hodge-podge of different operating systems to contend with. This is especially true for the techno-challenged. If they get used to the Mac OS and then want to get another PC, but don't want to pay out the nose for a system that only needs bare minimum specs, I can see why they would definitely want to run the Mac OS on a netbook. Paying a premium for hardware that you will only use 15% of is a pure waste.

This is where Apple needs to get in gear. They are missing out on the huge netbook market, and throwing this fancy touch tablet at the market will get some wow factor, but still be far more costly than a netbook-ish system NEEDS to be. The fact that many are running their OS on a netbook and are satisfied enough with the functionality to keep running it, speaks volumes regarding what consumers want. They need a Macbook Lite, not a flashy gimmicky tablet.

freedomthinker said:

Once again , Apple is being an ass. Why can't they just let it slide for once ? Maybe they could actually try to gain something here ? Mac only , mac only over and over again ? People want to try Mac on their PC's , why not just let em' ? Sigh...

gamingmage said:

Apple already makes a ton of money with everything, why restrict people on what they can do with their OS. I mean I understand changing the make up of it or anything like that but I thought mac was supposed to be open and more "fun" than an old boring pc. At least that's what I got from the commercials :P.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Vrmithrax: Mac isn't the lower computer for everyone, and they intend to keep it that way, if there is someone techno-challenged I doubt big time he/she would pay a Mac to "learn" (Unless they are loaded, in which case they won't matter paying extra for a powerfull notebook instead of a netbook). They don't have netbooks, they have iPhones for the daily (As you described) browser, mail and youtube, music, etc for techno-challenged users.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They are "being an ass" and restricting this because Apple is a hardware company. Seems like people keep forgetting that little fact. The only reason there IS a Mac operating system is that it helps sell their hardware, and for their customers they practically give it away (when compared to Microsoft prices for their OS). If they open it up, slack off on their policies, "let it slide" as it was put, then what's to stop people from taking their hard work on the OS and putting it on other cheaper computers that will ultimately gain zero benefit to Apple? They'd have to jump their OS prices dramatically to make any money. And, of course, since their software would now be running on any of an infinite number of hardware combinations, they'd have to massively upscale their support department to handle the technical issues... They aren't Microsoft, software is only a sideline to a goal, written specifically for their particular hardware platform configurations, so why do they have to justify not allowing it to run on systems outside of what it was designed for???

Yet another case of people feeling like they are entitled to whatever they want, without a care or consideration for what it might cost the company.

paynetrain007 said:

Haha... Just shows that Apple is afraid of what might happen to its view of being "secure" or "stable" if it is being put on a system that hasn't been hand put together by them. It is apple being controlling in their hardware and not allowing customization. Apple is a jerk of a company that can't handle what it puts out.

JieMan JieMan said:

Of coarse they are going to prevent the use of there os on Atom , thats how they make all there money .. not through the sale of the os but the sale of the hardware as well. Imagine if Microsoft did this , here ya go win7 but you have to buy all the hardware from us and we are going to inflate the costs to you our customer.. it just wouldn't fly. The only reason that Apple can do it is nobody really cares they have crap for market share on the PC world no matter how good there Iphone and Ipod do.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

paynetrain007 said:

Haha... Just shows that Apple is afraid of what might happen to its view of being "secure" or "stable" if it is being put on a system that hasn't been hand put together by them. It is apple being controlling in their hardware and not allowing customization. Apple is a jerk of a company that can't handle what it puts out.

Wow, talk about missing the mark by a mile... This has absolutely nothing to do with their stuff being secure or stable, because their OS is designed, refined, and tested for Apple hardware ONLY. Of COURSE they are controlling in their hardware, IT IS THEIR HARDWARE, and it is their sole reason for being in business! I find it laughable that you say they can't handle what they put out, when their software is run on their hardware (as intended) there's no handling problems. It's when yahoos get a cheap version of the Mac OS and try to run it on foreign hardware that the problems occur - which, by the way, is exactly what this move is trying to curb. You may not like it because you can't just do whatever you want and you hate restrictions, but it's a smart move on Apple's part.

Guest said:

netbooks could all go android anyway... Why not just go ubuntu rather then paying for apple brand unix.

MBK MBK said:

Just another reason to stick with PCs. I know macs are supposedly more user friendly (or so I've heard), but I couldn't stand having to use what apple decide I must. If people are pissed at Microsoft for monopolising the OS market, just imagine if apple manage to take a hold with their uber locked systems, only apples OSs, only apple hardware...no thank you!

One company can't possibly be make the best everything.

Guest said:

You said it brother.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I'm not sure that they needed to do this, netbooks are still a pretty small market share, and netbooks running OS X are a tiny fraction of that. It probably isn't hurting OS X sales.

But having said that, Apple doesn't design their OS to run on things they don't control, and it is their OS, so I'm not sure why there is so much outrage at this decision.

Perhaps the thing that we should be getting out of this is not that Apple is a bad company, but rather that this likely means if Apple does release their long rumored tablet - it won't be Atom powered.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Apple just wants to make money off it becuase there profit comes from selling there pc/mp3s not there OS-s. By stopping others from using there OS you'll have to settle for there grand old monopoly, and im betting overrpriced versions.

ken777 said:

I have no problem with Apple doing this. It's not part of their business model to sell their software separately from their hardware. When you buy an Apple product, you're buying a closed system. The close hardware/software integration is part of what makes Macs so appealing and reliable to end users. If Apple had to support the breadth of legacy hardware that Microsoft has to and include a ton of 3rd party drivers, I'm sure Mac OS X would look a lot more rickety.

Zedster said:

I believe that Apple has totally missed the boat when Vista was around. They had the perfect opportunity to release OSX into the open market to run on any PC when PC users were disheartened by the dog that was Vista. It seems now that Apple is fighting fires rather than going out there and saying "Yes, we have a better OS than Windows. Install it on your PC and find out why!". They may lose a few sales in the hardware stakes but they could then dominate the OS market instead - knocking off Microsoft - now wouldn't that be funny!

zaidpirwani said:

zedster said:

I believe that Apple has totally missed the boat when Vista was around. They had the perfect opportunity to release OSX into the open market to run on any PC when PC users were disheartened by the dog that was Vista. It seems now that Apple is fighting fires rather than going out there and saying "Yes, we have a better OS than Windows. Install it on your PC and find out why!". They may lose a few sales in the hardware stakes but they could then dominate the OS market instead - knocking off Microsoft - now wouldn't that be funny!

I am with him... but still I never really liked Atom... it's just too small..

Also my first Atom experience was so damn bad that I have ever bought any netbook containing atom since. Atom is in my opinion a word processing and/or mobile device processor, never intended to run a full blown OS like MAC OSX or even Windows 7, though small flavors of LINUX work well on it..

Shalimar said:

Apple OS now = *nix based OS + Apple GUI = massively over priced on "selected hardware" only..

and they wonder why hacks appear to eliminate the stupid restrictions they have placed on the OS.

Ubuntu FTW

Timonius Timonius said:

forget apple, forget the hackintosh, forget microsoft and windows. GO LINUX!!!

Puiu Puiu said:

Now this is just bad business. The company image is very important when your competitor just release an very good product. Couldn't they have waited until after the holiday season to do this?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If true, this news suggests that the Apple tablet really won't be Atom based.

@Puiu, though it's bad PR, I think it doesn't matter much. People who care about this (who read such news at sites like this) are mostly techies. They're not the major Apple market. Blocking hacks is something most closed hardware companies do on a regular basis (Nintendo tries it with almost every firmware, Microsoft recently with unauthorised Xbox memory upgrades).

limpangel limpangel said:

And this news matter because ... ????

Who would like to run OSX on an underpowered netbook?

OSX IS NOT designed, NOR optimized for this platform so all you will get is a sleek interface with limited functionality.

And even if you are a techwizz I don't think you will be able to make it run as smooth as Moblin or Ubuntu Netbook Remix, both of which ARE designed and oprimized for this platform.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Puiu said:

Now this is just bad business. The company image is very important when your competitor just release an very good product. Couldn't they have waited until after the holiday season to do this?

If you think about it, making the move now is a much better idea. Imagine you got a nice shiny new netbook for the holidays, you're dying to Mac-ify it, and then Apple throws out an "oh, gee, sorry but all you Atom netbook guys can't use our stuff" thing. At least this way, there are no preconceived notions of what you might be able to do with that Atom system and Mac OS. I think their company image would be much more tarnished if they had waited and dropped a bomb later.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

kibaruk said:

@Vrmithrax: Mac isn't the lower computer for everyone, and they intend to keep it that way, if there is someone techno-challenged I doubt big time he/she would pay a Mac to "learn" (Unless they are loaded, in which case they won't matter paying extra for a powerfull notebook instead of a netbook). They don't have netbooks, they have iPhones for the daily (As you described) browser, mail and youtube, music, etc for techno-challenged users.

Yah, but just imagine how many new customers they could suck in with a low cost entry... I liken it to in college, software companies gave away seats of their programs (like CAD) to the university, so that we'd use them and get to like them and become dependent on them. Then we go out in the world, and when we get into a company, that's the package we request. Give a growing netbook marketplace the cost competitive chance to learn and become dependent on the Mac experience, but keep some things held back for the full fledged Macs, and you have the potential to greatly increase your following and grow you loyal customer base. I've personally never thought the Mac OS was superior in every respect, but it's got alot of good qualities and tends to be very easy to use, and I have many Applehead friends who would defend Apple to the death in a knife fight wielding only a toothpick, if necessary. Apple could potentially grow their fanatic following massively with the right push in the right place.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To me this just seems like an admission of guilt from Apple that they overcharge for mediocre hardware. Psystar or anyone else could build an equal spec machine running OSX for half the price. Apple's sky high profit margin is down to their hardware sales, not software.

waterytowers said:

Windows or MAC OS on anything but a beefy machine is pointless. Atom and Atom like processors are meant to run a lean OS, which when I last checked is not Windows/MAC OS. Use the right OS for the hardware. Now if people are insane enough to install something on an device running an Atom that needs more power (ie is likely to run very slow) that is their own problem. BUT Apple have the right to restrict the use of their proprietary software, and it will be up to them to deal with any backlash from customers, or potential customers. Me I can't see myself ever buying a MAC so I don't really care what they do. To me MACs are priced for people that prefer style over function.

aceofspaids222 said:

MBK said:

Just another reason to stick with PCs. I know macs are supposedly more user friendly (or so I've heard), but I couldn't stand having to use what apple decide I must. If people are pissed at Microsoft for monopolising the OS market, just imagine if apple manage to take a hold with their uber locked systems, only apples OSs, only apple hardware...no thank you!

One company can't possibly be make the best everything.

True. Apple allows for for no wiggle room. You get an Apple, you get it their way. You get a pseudo-choice of systems. I'll stick with PCs, that way I can do whatever and get whatever I want.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I think it's funny how people get all mad at Microsoft for trying to protect its operating system, but look the other way when Apple does so. In this case though, I think Apple is hurting itself by limiting its market share because of artificial hardware limitations. If they were to allow people to build their own Mac systems, I think we would see a huge rise in Mac OS's market share. Makes you wonder what their motivation is for keeping such tight grips on their products.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

How exactly do you disable support for something, and im sure hackintosh users will probably find a way around it.. I say just get Windows 7 and let Apple enjoy the loss of sales.

jurrasstoil said:

Ugh, this doesn't even make sense.

I mean, with netbooks and nettops selling better and better, why would you shut out this market?

I'd say that more people will buy Mac OS for their Atom Netbooks than people will buy more Macbooks instead of Netbooks because they want Mac OS so badly...

freedomthinker said:

Heh , Apple can't any maturity in anything can they ? They are like that one little fat kid that dosen't like to share

Guest said:

Well...I am a Mac user although I have used PCs in the past. I have three Macs at home but wanted a light portable computer for traveling etc...a netbook seemed the obvious choice. So buying one (Dell Mini 10V) with XP on was OK but wasn't ideal, so I installed OSX few tweaks but nothing serious and it works a charm for what it is meant to do...internet, neoOffice and a few other basic apps....I hope Apple continue to allow those that use the "Hackintoshes" to carry on.

And for those complaining about the cost a five user license for Snow Leopard is less than ?40 (about 40 bucks) so much much cheaper than Windows and whilst more expensive than Linux in its variants still not expensive.

Just my 2 cents worth

Flippa said:

Could this mean they will release there own type of low end laptot? It would be smart if they started making an affordable alternative.

Puiu Puiu said:

(after update)

They might reconsider supporting Atom with this much negative feedback their getting. I don't know why apple is so afraid of supporting more hardware.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Puiu, I think the mistake is treating all these rumours as fact in the first place. There's a chance Apple never reconsidered anything, because it never disabled Atom support in the first place. Or maybe there was an internal discussion about this that leaked out, but discussion doesn't mean decision. Maybe there was a decision, and disabling Atom will happen, but the build doesn't have that. It's really impossible to tell.

@wagan8r, "I think it's funny how people get all mad at Microsoft for trying to protect its operating system, but look the other way when Apple does so." I think it's funny how you ignore all the comments against Apple, even in this thread.

Puiu Puiu said:

@ET3D In my experience of frequently visiting websites like techspot i can tell you that 90% of teh rumors came true. But in the end what you said is correct. Also i know most people won't be using it on netbooks but after reading the article i just got the impression that apple is becoming a bit too paranoid when it come to using their OS on other hardware. They really need a bit more diversity (the reason why windows is doing so well) and also they need to adopt new products faster (better CPU's and better GPU's). Their marketing plan just seems a bit too weird for my tastes (i study economy and informatics at collage so i know a bit about these stuff). They got lucky with Vista's failure, but they won't be so lucky with win7.

fref said:

Apple should just allow PC users to buy and install OS X legally on any PC, and bring down the cost of its computers to the same level as PCs. Sure, they'd make less profit on each sale, but they'd sell so many more computers and OS. I'm sure in the end they'd benefit from that move.

nazartp said:

It was already said above in this particular thread - Apple doesn't want its OS installed on an unauthorized hardware for quality control reasons. How many variants of hardware do they have and need to deal with? Compare it to the myriads of components and configurations Windows is being installed on. One of the main gripes about Vista were the compatibility issues partially caused by the sheer number of configurations the system is installed on. Can one expect that Apple will voluntarily jump into this pool? Not in a million years.

Their catering to a higher end market segment is a different story. I'm not sure if Apple looking to increase its market share per se. If they are targeting profitability instead of the market share that may explain it. They will never be able to maintain their level of customer support and quality control if they enter the lover priced segment with the hair-thin margins that characterize those. Pretty much like Tiffany's jewelry not being sold at WalMart. They have a fat bottom line sufficient to support further research and development in the computer market and it well may be their "sweet spot." iPod/IPhone situation supports my claim - there are no QC issues due to multiple systems so they can take the market by a storm and go for the market share especially if it feeds their iTunes music/video business segment.

namesdontmatter said:

Why do they include Atom support if none of their "official" hardware uses an Atom cpu? For testing ? I dont understand. Seems like they were allowing people to run OSX "unofficially".

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Turns out we all got our panties in a bunch for no reason:

[link]

Word that Apple had disabled Atom support in a Mac OS X 10.6.2 beta seed may have been premature, an update from the same discoverer says. A newer build, 10C535, now appears to have brought the feature back and hints that the lack of Atom support may have been a bug or an otherwise temporary action.

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