October 27, 2009, 1:18 PM — While the world focused on Microsoft's launch of Windows 7, Florida-based Psystar quietly launched Rebel EFI, a software product that should worry Apple a lot more than Microsoft's latest operating system. Rebel EFI allows users to run Apple's flagship operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, on non-Apple hardware.
Apple's response to Psystar's encroachment is understandable; the Mac OS has always been tightly coupled to hardware designed by the company. In fact, the end-user licensing agreement or EULA (pdf) for Mac OS X expressly forbids users from installing the operating system on hardware not sold by Apple: "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-branded computer, or to enable others to do so."
Now Psystar has upped the ante by offering the virtualization technology that powers its Mac clones as a standalone software package called Rebel EFI.
Rebel EFI works by creating a virtualized environment that allows users to install OS X version 10.6 (commonly referred to as Snow Leopard) on a PC with a Core 2 Duo, Quad, i7 or Xeon Nehalem processor. Rebel EFI is available in two forms: a free download with limited support and a full-functioning version for $50.
The free download is a good starting point to test hardware compatibility, but is limited to a two-hour session and does not support any driver downloads. If your hardware checks out and you like how OS X runs on your PC, then you will want to invest in the $50 version, which gives you access to software updates and support from Psystar.
Creating a "Hackintosh"