updated 08:20 am EST, Mon November 2, 2009
Hacked netbooks out of Snow Leopard beta
Apple may have taken out support for Atom processors in its latest beta seed of Mac OS X 10.6.2, one user says. Those testing it claim Apple has changed support in a way that breaks compatibility with the small Intel chips, including their ability to enter sleep mode through an unofficial extension. If it reaches the final build, the move leaves those making "Hackintosh" systems with little choice either to stay with 10.6.1 or else to wait for an unofficial fix.
It's not certain how deliberate the action may be, though Apple has little incentive to support Atom itself. The firm has publicly dismissed netbooks as too slow and has avoided the processors altogether in its products. Apple may have an incentive to alter information to prevent hacked copies of Mac OS X from running on netbooks -- often the most popular destination for unauthorized installs -- but is also known to have made changes for future MacBook Pros and may not have broken Atom compatibility on purpose.
The company is rumored to have rejected Atom for the future as it will prefer ARM architecture processors for future handhelds, like its rumored tablet.