The battle between Apple and its customers has shifted now to a new terrain, the Hackintosh, a regular computer not bought from Apple on which a legal copy of Snow Leopard has been installed. True to its obsessively controlling nature, Apple has initiated a Snow Leopard update that disables Intel Atoms, and hackintoshed Netbooks along with them. This is old hat for iPhone customers who have been fighting Apple's bricking updates for several versions now, jailbreaking Apple's restrictive controls to enable the iPhone to actually perform without Steve Jobs' hands at their throat.

But it may be time for Apple to rethink its war on its own customers. Apple wanted popularity and got it, but popularity in hardware is mutually exclusive with the kind of absolute control Apple is bent on exercising. While Microsoft has been turning a new leaf, Apple has become twice as ugly as Microsoft ever was, but it has yet to learn that you can't fight everyone and win. Today Apple is best known for its alliance with the AT&T Death Star, for its monopolistic control, its suppression of Google Voice and its willingness to destroy the hardware and software its customers bought and paid for, because they're not using it the way Apple wants them to.