“RussianMac is the latest company to release a Mac clone and test Apple’s resolve to stop companies from selling its operating system,” Jim Dalrymple reports for CNET.

“On its Web site, RussianMac says that a full version of Mac OS X Leopard comes pre-installed on its computers. The company also confirms that the operating system is able to receive automatic system updates from Apple once installed,” Dalrymple reports.

“This is where Apple seems to have the clone-makers over a barrel. Apple’s Mac OS X End User License Agreement (EULA) clearly forbids anyone from installing the software on hardware not sold by Apple. This effectively closes the door on companies determined to make a Mac clone,” Dalrymple reports.

“However, RussianMac maintains that it does not violate the terms of the EULA agreement because the operating system was purchased directly from Apple,” Dalrymple reports. “That still doesn’t get around the condition of installing it on an Apple-branded machine.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: RussianMac offers a full line of products than look about as cohesive as the PC aisle at Best Buy:

A custom chip inside every real Mac that Mac OS X requires to run would have solved this issue before it arose. Perhaps it’s something Apple would consider in the future if, indeed, they really don’t want unauthorized Mac clones to proliferate. The fact that it would have been so easy to do so in the first place is what makes us wonder sometimes if Apple, despite legal proceedings against the likes of Psystar, really doesn’t mind their OS being installed on non-Apple branded personal computers. If Apple really means what their EULA specifies (“This [Mac OS X] license allows you to install, use and run one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time.”), then why is there no hardware boot barrier for Mac OS X?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Swordmaker” for the heads up.]