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Apple breaking Atom chip support in 10.6.2?

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.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "We produce updates that break the hackers".

    And I'm sure the changes weren't made to break Atom compatibility on purpose. Just like the latest iTunes release didn't break Palm Pre syncing on purpose (actually, was there any other reason it was released?). And that iPhone OS releases don't break jailbreaks on purpose.

  1. simdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who cares?

    None of these are systems Apples sells or are required to support. Even systems they do sell get dropped after a period of time. Support of a lot of systems requires effort that can be better directed at your core audience. Hackers and jailbreakers are not your audience.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So what?

    As previously stated, Apple does not make hardware with Atom processors (thank God). If people want to cheat by using USB codes or hacking a phone or my guest. But Apple makes software to support their hardware. If you want to run their software, buy their hardware.

    Case closed.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why should the OS support non-Apple

    systems? Why would this be NECESSARY. Do companies that make toasters and refrigerators support other companies' toasters and refrigerators? Do people complain about that or only the parts supplier people? Those netbooks were built to run Windows or Linux and were never intended to run OSX, so what the heck is the furor about. iTunes was never meant to support the Palm Pre since Apple doesn't build Palm Pres. Besides, isn't something like doubleTwist supposed to be used in place of iTunes.

    What makes sense to me is that a company that is in the hardware business has no reason to support its competitors unless that is part of their business model and I doubt if supporting any hardware outside of its own is part of Apple's agenda. It's amazing enough that they haven't pulled iTunes support from Windows machines except that Windows people continue to buy iPods and iPhones.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What Tim Cook actually said was...

    "Some customers [...] become disappointed and disenchanted after they buy one of these, I think some of the netbooks that are being delivered or many of those are very slow, have software technology that is old, they don't have a robust computing experience, they lack horsepower, they have small displays and cramped keyboards. I could go on and on, but I won't.

    Note that this is not "Apple won't" but "Apple thinks the other are botching it."

    Which is a lot like what Jobs said about phones.

    Perhaps not by strict definition, but for all practical purposes, MBA is a netbook, albeit a pricey one. Odds are none of these comments or product directions are accidental.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's amazing enough that they haven't pulled iTunes support from Windows machines except that Windows people continue to buy iPods and iPhones.

    What a silly comment. The ONLY reason the iPod became the must-have device was because Apple brought it to Windows. You really think that, as a Mac only device, it would have taken up 90% of the market?

    And if they pulled iTunes, do you really think all those people with iPods would suddenly go out and buy macs so their music players would work?

  1. caverbw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's wrong with Atom?

    For any posters who are criticizing the Atom: 1) do you have a Hackintosh or 2) have you ever used one? My Dell 10v is a perfect machine, especially for its intended purposes: Web surfing and email; what do you think "netbooks" are for, anyway? You likely aren't doing scientific work or video editing on a 10 inch screen.

    Contempt prior to investigation?

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