OS X Realtek Wireless Driver for MSI Wind Released

realteksmallIt appears that MSI Wind netbook owners who patiently waited for W-Fi support and took the risk of installing OS X on their machines may now have drivers for their factory installed Realtek Wi-Fi cards.  Although not posted on the official Realtek site, this thread at MSIWind.net tracks consumer emails to and from Realtek, the U100′s Wi-Fi card manufactuerer.  The thread begins with posts showing replies from Realtek employees and their intent to release an OS X driver for the RTL8187SE in early, mid, and then later December.  Apparently, the driver was emailed directly from a Realtek employee to someone that inquired about its availability.  Regardless of how the RTL8187SE driver came to be, users are reporting success with the Realtek WLAN Client Utility.  The RTL8187SE doesn’t show up as an airport card, but does provide full Wi-Fi functionality for OS X Wind users.

The success of “hackintosh” netbooks is one reason (among many) why Apple will probably never release their own netbook.  For a reasonable $349 USD or less, consumers can pick up an Acer Aspire One, Dell Mini9, or other popular netbook.  These devices aren’t powerhouses, but do provide the option of running Apple’s OS X operating system.  Although it may be illegal and certainly breaks your standard warranty, many netbook owners are researching and experimenting with the OSx86 project, a community that has found a way to make Apple’s OS X operating system run easily on non-Apple computers.  A few simple searches through their Wiki or on Google reveal the proper setup and steps required to run your own non-Apple, OS X computer.  The release of Realtek Wi-Fi drivers makes the U100 compatible with OS X out of the box, requiring no hardware modifications.

Realtek WLAN Client Utility (MSIWind.net forum)

Realtek WLAN Client Utility (MSIWind.net forum)

It should be noted that GottaBeMobile does not encourage users break their factory warranties, EULAs, or take the risk of installing unsupported software on their machines.

Comments

  1. Gavin Miller says

    Is there a warranty issue here? Certainly EULA terms are broken even on a purchased copy. If for example, I put Vista on an XP netbook and the screen or HDD fails I would expect the warranty to still be the same.

  2. ignar says

    Is this going to work with Asus 1000h? I think it uses the Realtek wifi as well though not sure about the model specifics.

    I actually think the interest in hackintosh for netbooks is one reason Apple should consider this market. Apple cannot let netbooks cannibalize their higher-end laptop market. I believe for many hackintosh users, portability is at least as important as price, and unless Apple addresses the need for netbook-like portable laptops (MBA is not an answer), people will continue to convert netbooks to OS X machines. I bet there are lots of people who will be willing to say, $600 for authentic Mac netbook instead of hackintoshed $350 Aspire. I know I’m one of them.

  3. JC says

    The netbook market is a slim fraction of the computer market. The number of people interested in running OSX on their netbook is a slim fraction of that. (It’s unlikely that netbook owners are proportionately more interested in OSX than any other computer owners.) Why are there so many people who think that Apple should get excited over a slim fraction of a slim fraction of the computer market?

    [IOW, I read too many blog entries and blog comments that are variants of the "what I want must be what everyone wants" argument.]

    Of course, in the future, netbooks may occupy a sizable fraction of the market. So, for all I know, Apple may be developing something in anticipation of that future. So many blog entries make the case, though, that Apple needs to release something now, Now, NOW! I just don’t see it.

    I totally see how netbooks are appealing and useful. I totally see how OSX may rock on one of them. However, Apple doesn’t have a mid-sized tower. They didn’t have a mid-sized tower even when desktops dominated the market. Apple fanatics have been haranguing about that forever now. It’s clear that Apple doesn’t cater to small niches. I really don’t see Apple coming out with a netbook unless it stops being a small niche. They’re much more likely to continue the argument that they’ve already made: If all you want to do is read email. browse the web, play music and watch videos, buy an iPod touch or an iPhone. If you want to do more than that, they’d rather you spend $1000 and buy a MacBook. You, of course, are totally free to buy something else. However, they’re not going to go out of business because a small fraction of a small fraction of the market go buy MSI Winds.

    BTW, someone may say that a $600 Mac netbook is the right price now. However, if Apple actually announced such a device, we will probably lose track of the sheer number of people complaining about how it’s too expensive. I mean, there are $600 netbooks on the market now that people complain are too expensive.

  4. Duncan says

    >BTW, someone may say that a $600 Mac netbook is the right
    >price now. However, if Apple actually announced such a
    >device, we will probably lose track of the sheer number of
    >people complaining about how it’s too expensive. I mean,
    >there are $600 netbooks on the market now that people
    >complain are too expensive.

    But when it’s an Apple you get a few hundred dollars leeway before people think it’s overpriced.

  5. newbie says

    Anyone know if there is a fix for the audio out/mic issue for installing OS X on the Wind? I am seeing conflicting info on different articles.

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