OSx86 is a collaborative hacking project to run the Mac OS X computer operating system on non-Apple personal computers with x86 architecture and x86-64 compatible processors. The effort started soon after the 2005 Worldwide Developers Conference announcement that Apple would be transitioning its personal computers from PowerPC to Intel microprocessors. Apple uses a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, to tie Mac OS to the systems it distributed to developers after announcing its switch to Intel’s chips. A computer built to run this type of Mac OS X is also known as a Hackintosh.

Hackintoshed notebook computers are also referred to as ‘Hackbooks.’ The Apple software license does not allow Mac OS X to be used on a computer that is not ‘Apple-branded.’ The legality of this form of tying is disputed. While the methods Apple uses to prevent Mac OS X from being installed on non-Apple hardware are protected from commercial circumvention in the United States by the DMCA, specific changes to the law regarding the concept of jailbreaking has thrown such and similar circumvention methods when carried out by end-users for personal use into a legal grey area.

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