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Mac OS X 10.6.2 rumored to block Atom support, foil netbook OS X booting

In a move sure to rile up the crowds of people (including our very own Erica Sadun) who have converted cheap Intel Atom-powered netbooks into tiny MacBook-like hackintoshes, several sites are reporting that Apple will kill support for the battery-sipping CPU in the next release of Snow Leopard.

For most netbook manufacturers like MSI, Dell, and ASUS, the Intel Atom line of energy-efficient microprocessors has been the perfect CPU due to its low cost. Cheap prices on these netbooks, often below US$300, have made them the choice of many Mac users who want a very portable and affordable laptop solution that they're not currently getting from Apple.

The word from many developers who are testing the most recent build of Mac OS X 10.6.2 Snow Leopard is that support for the Atom CPU is gone. Either the hackintosh owners will have to run Mac OS X 10.6.1 for the foreseeable future, or some enterprising hacker will build a patch to add Atom support back to the upcoming OS release.

Like the current syncing struggle between iTunes 9 and the Palm Pre, this may turn into a tit-for-tat battle between Apple and the hackintosh community -- or it might be the end of the road for Mac OS X on the featherlight PCs.

[via Engadget, OS X Daily]

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