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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Snow Leopard Clones Hit Street

Psystar ships Mac OS X 10.6 on knock-off hardware despite Apple lawsuit.

Call it a Snow clone. Unauthorized Mac dealer Psystar is defiantly boasting that Apple's newest operating system is available on the cut-rate, generic hardware it hawks over the Internet.

Psystar, which Apple has sued for copyright violation, isn't being shy about its latest attempt to thwart Steve Jobs' lawyers—even when it comes to Snow Leopard, Apple's newest crown jewel.

"We have developed new virtualization technologies to allow our Open Computers to interface with the all-new Mac OS X like never before," Psystar officials wrote last week in a public blog post. "We support Snow Leopard on all new Psystar machines and we're already taking orders for computers with the latest OS from Apple," the company said.

Psystar, however, warned existing customers that they shouldn't attempt to upgrade previously purchased Mac clones to Snow Leopard, aka OS X 10.6. "We ask you not to install the new OS X as it may cause harm to your computer, resulting in possible re-installation of OS X 10.5 and a loss of data," the company stated.

Psystar formally filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year. Despite that, its legal tussle with Apple remains ongoing in a San Francisco courthouse.

Snow Leopard introduces a number of new features to the Mac operating environment, including 64-bit versions of Finder, Mail, iCal, iChat, and the Safari Web browser.

Mac OS X 10.6 also includes a new multithreading technology called Grand Central Dispatch that should prove popular with gamers and other users that require maximum horsepower for graphics processing and other computationally intensive tasks. GCD enables applications to take full advantage of multi-core processors.

For corporate users, Snow Leopard offers built-in support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, a feature that could help Apple make gains in the enterprise and small business computing markets.

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