Easy Mac OS X installation coming to the PC?

When Apple first announced that it would start using Intel processors in Macs, there were two questions on everyone’s mind: “will Macs be able to run Windows?” and “will PCs be able to run OS X?” The answer to the first question turned out to be a resounding “yes,” as Apple decided to officially support dual-booting with Boot Camp while more elegant third-party solutions like Paralells allowed the two OSes to co-exist side-by-side with Apple’s blessing. As for the second question, the answer was a resounding “no.” As expected, Apple announced that OS X would remain locked to Apple hardware until the end of time. The problem is, there’s nothing that hackers and enthusiasts like more than a challenge and it wasn’t long before OS X was installed on commodity PC hardware using a series of hacks. Still, the amount of knowledge and legwork required to get OS X up and running on a PC ensured that all but the most hardcore would be turned off.

This could all change, however. All it would take is a simple and easy software tool for installing OS X on commodity hardware (since OS X does not require online product activation or even a serial number to install). Paralells, the makers of the elegant dual-OS solution that bears their name, revealed to Fortune that they are owned by SWsoft, the makers of popular virtualization tools like Virtuozzo. SWsoft’s CEO Serguei Beloussov then dropped the bombshell: “…this spring, Parallels will upgrade its software further, in a way that by coincidence will make it easier to run Mac OS on a non-Apple computer. [Beloussov] also insists that is not deliberate, but just a consequence of the nature of the technology, especially now that Intel builds virtualization technology into its chips.”

Not to be outdone, VMWare CEO Diane Greene revealed that her “company’s existing x86 desktop product is already being used by some to run Mac OS on computers from Dell, Hewlett-Packard and others, though this is not intentional on VMware’s part.” Hmm, so it seems as if the two companies are in a race to see who can “unintentionally” allow easy OS X installation on the PC first. I’m sure that the Apple legal team is already on the move.

For more on OS X virtualization:
– see this Fortune article
– or this write-up at TUAW

ALSO: Apple may start charging users for Boot Camp instead of bundling it with Leopard. Article

More stories about Hardware News   Software News   Microsoft Windows   Mac OS X   Virtualization   Dell   VMWare  


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