Ever since Apple’s hardware made the jump to Intel processors, there’s been an active community involvement in getting the Intel version of OS X to run on the standard personal computers that the majority of users have. Let’s face it, Apple’s hardware is nice and shiny, but despite the price drops, it’s still more expensive than most of the budget options that are in the market. Adventurous users have been able to successfully install previous versions of OS X on their current computing rigs, and now that Leopard is available, the work continues for version 10.5.

Just like before, hackers have installed Leopard on non-Apple hardware, and they’ve been able to get it working on the stripped-down and affordable Eee PC laptop computer, which runs on Linux by default. You see, it’s not enough to get OS X to run on high-end and expensive PC hardware, because it only makes sense that once installed, the operating system would perform well due to having access to all of that horsepower. By testing the process out with more minimal systems, we can truly see how the OS will perform without many of the frills.

These lesser configurations may leave a lot to be desired, but the success of installing and running OS X on them proves to us that even though Leopard may be hailed as the most advanced operating system, it can still do its job on computers that we would never even think of using such an operating system on.

The process required to build one of these Hackintosh machines is still too complicated for most users, but those with a little know-how and determination will find success. If the directions for installing OS X on a PC were as simple as popping the disc in and using the installer like normal, then you could count on the fact that more people would be trying it, but the degree of difficulty is definitely a hindrance for many people. Besides, this type of thing violates the Leopard license agreement, so technically you shouldn’t be doing it, but when has that ever stopped hackers before?

As nice as it might be to have a version of OS X sanctioned by Apple that could easily be installed on a PC, it doesn’t seem as if that’s very likely to happen, so the next best thing would be if Apple learned from all of these hacking efforts that there is a market for more affordable Macs, even if this means that they’re not high-end. Their desktop lineup is priced aggressively, but there is definitely room to make a move on the laptop side of things. Apple is rumored to be working on a budget laptop, but we’ll just have to see what comes of this.

There are an abundance of PC laptops available below the $500 mark, and while we may not be able to officially use them to run OS X, the next best thing would be to have a more affordable Mac laptop that could run both OS X and Windows. If it was priced right, this dual-platform solution would literally wipe out the rest of the budget laptop market.

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