The vast majority of us who use both PCs and Macs probably saw this coming, but I don’t think anyone, me included, saw it coming anywhere near this soon: Mac OSX Leopard, released on Friday, October 26th, has already been cracked to run on x86 PCs.
The installation process involves a patched Leopard DVD, and some additional files that are downloaded via a zip file and usually installed using a flash drive. Leopard can then be installed on a clean MBR (Master Boot Record) partition. This crack is in its infancy, so should you decide to try it, keep in mind that the risk to your system is unknown, and that some of your hardware, such as sound cards and network cards, may not work under Leopard. The dangers and the bugs will certainly be reduced with time. Apple, of course, does not condone this process.
But Shouldn’t It Just Work?
If you’re wondering why Mac OSX won’t just work on a typical PC, like Windows and DOS and Linux and Unix and OS/2 and ... well you get the idea... all other Intel-based operating systems, the answer may surprise you. It’s not an incompatibility issue; it’s intentional interference from Apple.
Apple has placed specific code in the Mac operating system that looks for a special chip found only in Apple-built computers. When the Mac OS fails to find this chip in a PC, the Mac OS refuses to install. This gives rise to the question: "Once I buy the right to use an OS, shouldn’t I be allowed to install it wherever I want to?"
Apple’s motivation in making Mac OSX so exceptionally proprietary has often been the subject of discussion. However, in my opinion, the reason is clear: Apple makes a fortune on its computers. If the Mac OS were to suddenly become available for the much more affordable PC, Apple wouldn’t sell as many of those high priced computers. There’s little argument that Mac OSX is an excellent operating system, otherwise Windows users wouldn’t be working so hard to install it on their PCs. It’s the hardware that tends to cause people to take sides. Hard core Mac users swear by it, insisting it’s worth the extra money. Windows users often look at the price tag, and just swear at it.
I obviously won’t post links here to patched OS files. But, if you’d like to satisfy your educational curiosity as to how OSX runs on a PC, I’m sure you’ll find the links in this article enlightening.