Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, yesteday at Macworld 2006 officially launched the first iMac computer on Intel technology.
It powers a MacOS X 10.4.4, but the iMac hardware could run Windows without restrictions, as Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, said.
So we are sure MacOS could run on any x86 hardware, even on a virtual machine. But it actually can’t.
Why? Because Apple provided the operating system a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip control check which prevent installing it on anything but Apple approved hardware.
It also appears that Apple patented the MacOS to not run on dual-boot systems and virtual machines.
During the long beta these issues didn’t stop hackers which found a way to circumvent the security check and spread unauthorized MacOS x86 copies inside virtual machines all around the Net.
Now what can happen?
- There will be another crack and MacOS X 10.4.4 for Intel will start spreading again, on physical and virtual machines, even if unauthorized.
- With an unexpected move Apple will permit MacOS virtualization at a later time
(we already read something in this direction in our exclusive interview to Parallels)
Will Microsoft accept to run MacOS virtual machines on its product as already did with Linux? I think not so fast. Surely not before launching and selling upcoming Vista.
So VMware could be the first do this, and for free thanks to VMware Player, gaining even more market on the desktop virtualization segment.
Customers are already asking for MacOS guest support which, by the way, would greatly simplify transition to Apple operating system.
Meanwhile the good PearPC project could receive a major stop.