Report: Apple strips Atom support from Mac OS X

— 4:46 PM on November 12, 2009

Still pining for an Apple netbook? Well, don't get your hopes up too much. According to OS X Daily, Apple has stripped support for Intel's Atom processors from the latest Mac OS X release, 10.6.2.

None of the systems in Apple's lineup currently feature Atom CPUs, but a number of folks have turned their vanilla netbooks into so-called "hackintoshes," installing Mac OS X onto them using a variety of methods (none sanctioned by Apple, naturally). Dell's Mini netbooks are popular choices for such setups, but a look on the MyDellMini forums shows OS X no longer starts up for users who installed the 10.6.2 update.

OS X Daily speculated in its story that the OSx86 community would find a way to circumvent the limitation. Indeed, a new beta version of NetbookInstaller, an "OS X install patcher for netbooks," restores Atom support for hackintosh users.

That said, this move sounds like it rules out the use of Atom CPUs in future Macs—perhaps even that tablet device we've been hearing so much about. Either that, or Apple will make an Atom-based tablet and offer a modified version of its operating system on it.

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