The Mac cloning soap opera just keeps taking crazy twists and turns -- Art Studios Entertainment, makers of the EFi-X dongle, have shut down EFi-X USA's plans to sell "Millennium" machines capable of running OS X just hours after they were announced. ASE CEO Davide Rutigliano sent us a statement saying that EFi-X USA was misinterpreting ASE's EFi-X certification program, that ASE will "NEVER sell machines or condone the sale of machines that compete with any brand," and that he personally ordered the project abandoned. Indeed, a visit to EFi-X USA's page confirms that the machines have been killed, although we're unsure what the terse statement "EFi-X USA LLC fights the clones and the clonemakers" is supposed to mean. All part of another strange chapter in the Hackintosh saga, we suppose. Check ASE's full statement after the break.

[Via Tom's Hardware]

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As you know, EFI-X uses a list of compatible to EFI and UEFI hardware. As strange as it seems, people have found difficulties to put together machines compliant with our standards, and we decided to create a Certification Program. This way not only we can make sure that people get the right hardware, (as non compatible hardware will even void their EFI-X warranty) but this opens the way to a much broader support, to new and exciting hardware, based on the user's requests.

This, today, created a monstrous misunderstanding. Our USA distributor, following (I have to say erroneously) the certification program built up a quite nice PC, but it was presented to the press in a totally erroneous way to which we at Art Studios Entertainment Media are absolutely unrelated to!

To be honest it wasn't intentional of them, but of course when I said that we at ASEM do not condone the merchandising of clones, I meant it. The press saw the "Millennium" project as a clone project, and I immediately ordered it to be scrapped and abandoned. Because we at ASEM do not sell or condone the sale of clones that compete with ANY brand. We have our own clientele and our own small and nice market share, and we are really happy that way.

Therefore if there is any brand that would like to have their hardware certified and decides to market it the proper way, we at Art Studios are extremely happy to evaluate their proposal. But we will NEVER sell machines or condone the sale of machines that compete with any brand.

The main point of EFI-X was innovation and integration, we are very proud of it and we like to keep it that way. We are the only one on the planet to offer such a device with such technology, and we are happy about it and very happy about our heterogeneous fans coming from all possible IT worlds, that understood and appreciated us and our unique philosophy.

And I can also proudly say that part of this philosophy was to respect all the brands that we admire, and follow their example to change the IT world into something better and friendlier for all of us.

Therefore, even though we are absolutely unrelated with last night's "stunt", I do reaffirm ASEM's spirit and philosophy of total respect and gratitude towards our existing affectionate customers. We may eventually in the future enforce our Certification Program, to deliver a more complete and better thought-after product to our clientele, but that will be made in total respect and fairness.

Davide Rutigliano, CEO, Art Studios Entertainment

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EFi-X shuts down EFi-X USA, says it doesn't support Mac clones