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Wednesday, June 08, 2005, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple VP says Mac OS X won\'t run on other PCs

Forthcoming versions of Mac OS X will not run on Intel-based machines sold by other PC manufactures, according to a high-level Apple executive.

The question of whether Intel support in the Mac OS X would allow it to run on machines manufactured by other PC makers has been a burning one in the minds of several Mac users ever since Apple announced plans to transition to Intel chips.

Answering questions for reporters following Steve Jobs' keynote presentation at the World Wide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple vice president Phil Schiller said the company does not plan to let users run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware.

"We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.

On the other hand, Schiller said Apple won't intentionally stop users from trying to run Microsoft's Windows operating system on the forthcoming Intel-based Macs, although there will be no official support from Apple on that front.

"That doesn't preclude someone from running [Windows] on a Mac. They probably will," he said.

Apple's recently announced transition to Intel initially sparked concerns over how the company could remain profitable if its Mac OS X operating system could be run on competitors' hardware products.

Despite its growing array of digital lifestyle and productivity software applications, Apple is still strongly considered a hardware-driven company that generates the majority of its revenues from computer hardware-related sales.

However, Macs often fetch a higher average selling price than most PC brands. Given the option, most consumers would likely purchase competitive hardware at cheaper prices if they were afforded the opportunity to run Mac OS X on those systems.

It's believed that Apple will likely add a specialized chip to the motherboard of its Intel-based systems that the Mac OS X must first detect prior to booting. Either that or the company will contract a proprietary motherboard chipset from Intel that will perform a similar function.