There is a rumor circulating around the plans for Mac OS X 10.6.2, the nascent update for Snow Leopard. Supposedly, the upcoming update will kill all support for the Atom processor.
What does this entail for the ‘regular’ user, absolutely nothing. The Atom Processor has never been used in any Apple product. Therefore, anybody running any Apple sanctioned hardware should not have a problem. However, the Atom processors and related chipsets are heavily used within the hackintosh community.
The Atom processor is an Intel Processor that is heavily used by netbooks, and lower power desktops that are mainly used for everyday tasks, such as Facebook, Email, Reading Blogs (hopefully macgasm.net) and productivity applications like Word and Excel. They are not used within the main Apple line of products.
What is a hackintosh, you ask? Well it’s any non-apple hardware that runs Mac OS X. Many users have been lusting after an Apple netbook. In order to alleviate the lust many brave souls forge ahead and install Mac OS X on their netbooks with surprisingly good results. The practice of installing Mac OS X on non-apple hardware has been going on since the release of the first Intel Macs back in 2006.
What does this change mean for those with current hackintosh machines? Well, it means that they cannot update their installations of Mac OS X, which means no more security updates, no more iTunes updates, and no updates to any of their software that might depend on a later update.
This is a double-edged sword for Apple. They want to stop the hackintosh community and preserve the integrity of the experience. Yet, simultaneously by blocking access to software updates Apple has decided to leave these machines out in the open, with security vulnerabilities.
Some would claim that the type of users who are going to create a mackintosh are more sophisticated, and while that maybe the majority of the cause that is not the case global.
Remember, this is only a rumor, however the Apple rumor mill has been pretty much spot on lately. Therefore, there is no reason not to believe this rumor. As with all of the games that Apple has managed to play, the hackers will always find a way around this. It’s a never going to win scenario when Apple pits themselves against the more determined hackintoshers.