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Be

Be Throws in the Towel 303

darrad writes: "ZDNet is reporting that 'Be, the failed maker of a computer operating system once considered a rival to Microsoft's Windows, said Monday it would dissolve itself on March 15 and delist from the Nasdaq stock market.'" The Be front page says the same, and explains that this is the natural conclusion of the company's sale of most of its property to Palm.
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Be Throws in the Towel

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  • So long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KarmaPolice ( 212543 )
    and thanks for all the non-GPL'ed code...
  • At least they still get to spend the next three years trying to tie up some of those MS lawyers!
  • by einer ( 459199 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @04:58PM (#3108487) Journal
    Was
  • That's the only question left.

    Clever writers.

  • What about the IP? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ryu2 ( 89645 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @04:59PM (#3108505) Homepage Journal
    What will Palm do with it? Does it fit in to their plans? Any chance of releasing some stuff open source?
    • Be sold all their IP to Palm. It's not theirs to open source anymore.
      • n/m, didn't parse the comment properly :)

        In any case, why would Palm have bought Be in the first place if they didn't have any plans for it?

        Buying something and then giving it away isn't a good business plan.
        • It's the people (Score:2, Informative)

          by loosifer ( 314643 )
          In any case, why would Palm have bought Be in the first place if they didn't have any plans for it?

          Because they wanted Be's engineers. Yah, they'll probably use some of Be's BeIA code in the next PalmOS, which would be great, but from what I remember their main motivation was a bunch of kick-ass engineers for a pittance. And some decent code too.
    • Palm inherited some good Be engineers, and the consensus is that they are using BeOS/BeIA as the base for building a new operating system to replace Palm OS, and to keep up with Windows Pocket PCs.
    • by drewness ( 85694 )
      The last I heard (and sorry for not having a URL) was that Palm catagorically said that they would not open source anything from BeOS or licence it to anyone else and basically asked that people please stop bugging them about it.
  • Lawsuit? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VP ( 32928 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:00PM (#3108515)
    Is the lawsuit vs. MSFT still on? The PR is still on the front page, but can the suit be continued after Be is dissolved?
    • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:03PM (#3108536) Homepage
      From the latest press release:

      "Be will continue to exist for three years after the dissolution becomes effective ... solely for the purposes of prosecuting and defending lawsuits (including but not limited to pursuing its antitrust case against Microsoft)..."
    • Re:Lawsuit? (Score:5, Informative)

      by filtrs ( 548248 ) <mhilmers@photons ... m minus caffeine> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:03PM (#3108542) Homepage
      From the statement:

      Pursuant to Delaware law, Be will continue to exist for three years after the dissolution becomes effective or for such longer period as the Delaware Court of Chancery shall direct, solely for the purposes of prosecuting and defending lawsuits (including but not limited to pursuing its antitrust case against Microsoft), settling and closing its business in an orderly manner, disposing of any remaining property, discharging its liabilities and distributing to its stockholders any remaining assets, but not for the purpose of continuing any business. In accordance with the plan of dissolution, after payment in full of all claims finally determined to be due, Be will make distributions of any remaining assets (including assets acquired after the record date), if any, only to stockholders of record as of the record date.

      (Also, see my post above :) )
      • Re:Lawsuit? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kcbrown ( 7426 )
        And if the antitrust case lasts longer than three years? Does Microsoft then win by default as their opponent disappears in a puff of blue smoke?
  • by NWT ( 540003 ) <tomNO@SPAMsyntax.lu> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:03PM (#3108534) Homepage
    Here's a link for those who still want to try it ;)

    http://ftp.pcworld.com/pub/system/other/beospe.exe [pcworld.com]
    • Oh, gotta love the Windows software world... post a link to a executable file and everyone just runs it. Who cares what it does!
  • by maggard ( 5579 ) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:04PM (#3108545) Homepage Journal
    Be, the failed maker of a computer operating system once considered a rival to Microsoft's Windows
    In what parrallel universe? Sure it went for the gold ring but c'mon, who ever really considered them a serious contender? Name me one large business that "went Be"?

    Nice technology, clever stuff, but c'mon, that's like saying.. oh, wait, this is /., never mind.

    • by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation@@@gmail...com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:20PM (#3108701)
      Intel was one of the first investors in Be. I believe one of Intel's execs was quoted as saying (paraphrased) "our hardware can do that?!?!" when he heard about BeOS running on X86 hardware.

    • by Our Man In Redmond ( 63094 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:26PM (#3108743)
      As far as I can tell, they were a rival to Microsoft Windows in much the same way that I am a rival for the affections of Natalie Portman.
    • by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:27PM (#3108746) Homepage
      Microsoft considered them a contender, they even said so in court! And you know MS lawyers would never lie to a judge :-)

      I think the only people who ever said Be was a serious competitor to Windows were the ones trying to prove Windows wasn't a monopoly.
    • They were a rival. Not a particularly viable rival, nor an especially succesful one, but in one of their many incarnations, that was certainly the market they were aiming at.
    • So much inertia... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GCP ( 122438 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @06:16PM (#3109074)
      The inertia in things like operating systems and programming languages continues to frustrate me. If you aren't a mere extension to the dominant technology, you may as well not bother. If you're something significantly different, but only a few hundred percent better, you may as well not bother. The inertia is just too great for really good ideas to be adopted quickly.

      Be will be a lesson to those who hadn't already learned from NeXT, Amiga, etc. When Be first started, I remember commenting to a friend that "there's a group that just doesn't get it." I've hoped ever since that I would turn out to be wrong. I wasn't talking about their technology, which I always admired. It was the insurmountable market barriers that they would face.

      If you're not 10x better, the only approach that seems to work is to find a whole new market niche to go for.

      (Sorry, this next part is going to sound like a troll, but...) Even Linux is a bit depressing. So much talent out there, and the best we can come up with is the amazing innovation of cloning a 30 yr old OS? Free and open source aren't technical innovations, they're marketing innovations.

      There's so much research in OS theory, in programming languages, in user interfaces and human-computer interaction -- so many great ideas from the 80s and 90s that will take another generation to reach the daily lives of most of us professional developers.
      • The inertia in things like operating systems and programming languages continues to frustrate me... the best we can come up with is the amazing innovation of cloning a 30 yr old OS... so many great ideas from the 80s and 90s that will take another generation to reach the daily lives of most of us professional developers.

        They say that physics advances one funeral at a time. The same is probably true of other fields.

        It was a real pleasure to go to the Lightweight Languages thing at MIT a few months back, and see the accomplishments of some of these out-of-the-mainstream groups, particularly the Scheme community. As you say, they are at work on innovations which won't reach us average programmers for many years.

        But if you want to have something gain acceptance, you have to put a HUGE amount of work into it. People have gotten very high expectations. They expect plenty of features (not excluding dancing winking paper clips) and long times between bugs and crashes. Better plan for a hefty QA budget.

        By all means, write the next great operating system. Innovate like crazy. But if you want a lot of users when you're done, you've got close equivalents for the things people want: Word, Excel, Netscape... If this stuff isn't as featureful and bug-free as what people expect from Linux or Windows, prepare to spend your days in the computer science slums with those Scheme guys.

        • That's only really true if you're trying to target the same market as current PCs. Personally, I think that the idea that the same machine, running the same OS, should stretch to cover every possible user and application is rediculous. The system that would make me happy while coding (customizable, UNIXy, lots of programming tools) would make my grandmother miserable when she just wants to type a letter or check her email.

          Look at Palm -- they started completely from scratch, and continue to beat MS soundly at the platform vendor game, despite the fact that neither Word, Excel, or IE run on PalmOS. How can this be? Simple: the target applications and environments that a Palm is well-suited for are not the same as those a full-size desktop PC is good for.

          Be actually started out gunning for a very specific market: multimedia content producers. They wanted to be where Apple is now, with a fast, single-user OS that had great audio, video, and graphics tools. Unfortunately, they didn't lure enough developers to the BeOS before the public unveiling, and their hardware hit the market just at the PC clone wars were really dropping prices through the floor.

          If Be had been able to offer people a killer app along with their OS, they might have hung on long enough to grab a safe niche position in the market. Final Cut Pro on a modern BeBox would be a beautiful thing, indeed.

          Personally, I think the single person responsible for killing Be was Steve Jobs. If Apple had bought Be, instead of his pet project NeXT, and used BeOS as the core of OS X (or its equivalent), it could have been on the market three years earlier, and would be better-suited for Apple's core market (single-user installations for media pros and students).

          Now, it just remains to be seen if Palm can do a better job than Apple did of integrating two wildly different operating systems into a new hybrid design. Unfortunately, they don't have a lot of time; Microsoft is going to keep shoving Windows down the throat of every hardware manufacturer on the planet as long as they have the chance, and right now Palm is getting seriously outclassed by Compaq in the hardware arena.
          • by GCP ( 122438 )
            As I said, if you want success, you have to target a new niche. That doesn't guarantee success, but not doing so virtually guarantees failure, given the inertia I'm talking about.

            Steve didn't kill Be. He just didn't save it. Nobody else saved it, either, but I don't know if anyone could have. Yes, he bought NeXT, and where is NeXT OS now? Is it saved? Yes, well probably on some archive tape somewhere. ;-)

      • So much talent out there, and the best we can come up with is the amazing innovation of cloning a 30 yr old OS?

        So much talent out there {Ferrari, Porsche, etc.), and the best they can come up with is the amazing innovation of cloning a 100000 year old wheel?

        So much talent out there (Shakespear, Dickens, J.K. Rowling), and the best they can come up with is the amazing innovation of cloning a 1500 year old language?

        Some things are done right the first time, buddy.
      • by Crag ( 18776 )
        "Be will be a lesson to those who hadn't already learned from NeXT, Amiga, etc."

        Amiga had a chance, and failed because Commodore mis-managed and under-promoted it. The fan base was there, the tech was there (at the time), and there were probably more apps then BeOS ever had.

        NeXT failed because the hardware was dumb. It started with a 4bit grey-scale display when EGA, VGA, and Amiga graphics were not only better, but cheaper. NeXT boxes only had CD-ROMs for removable media. The only way they could share data was on a network, and only the far more expensive machines were online. Worst of all, they cost $5k with an academic discount, or $10k without. A fully loaded PC or Amiga was $4k or less and had apps, a floppy drive, and could talk to anything.

        Be failed because it has no reason to exist anymore. It would have been great before DirectX 7 or accelerated XFree86. The one thing they tried to do better than anyone else was being done well enough for free by Linux and *BSD.

        Amiga was a lesson in marketing. NeXT was a lesson in timing (we weren't ready). BeOS was a lesson in timing too (we already had it). Three very different lessons that I'm glad _I_ didn't directly pay for. :)
        • NeXT failed because the hardware was dumb. It started with a 4bit grey-scale display when EGA, VGA, and Amiga graphics were not only better, but cheaper. NeXT boxes only had CD-ROMs for removable media. The only way they could share data was on a network, and only the far more expensive machines were online.

          Hey, NeXT is still around. They acquired Apple for a negative dollar ammount. ;)

          The NeXT OS is still around, by the way. It is now called MacOS X --- veeery nice oS...

          I should also point out that that the optical drive in the old NeXT hardware was not merely a CD-ROM. It was a writable magneto-optical drive. That particular drive was available for other systems, but it never really caught on very well, despite being a big improvement over floppies in terms of capacity.

        • The removable drive in the NeXT was not a CD-ROM, it was a read/write optical drive. Actually pretty good, all other machines just had floppies or zip drives at that time.

          Where NeXT botched it in the drive department was not providing a hard disk by default. The machine was useless without one, the optical drive as the main storage was orders of magnitude too slow. And you could not remove it because it was a normal Unix and many configuration files were stored on it. Swapping with another disk worked like the Mac where it continuously froze the machine and popped up a "insert this disk" indicator.

          Also you could get a floppy drive, at least my machine had one, but it may have been an option (I also had a hard drive). It read/wrote MSDOS format disks.

          Of course that is not the only NeXT mistake, but I think the lack of a hard drive was much more important than the removable media choices.

    • That's because this is a new direction of Be. First they were going to be the alternative OS for the Mac.

      Well that didn't work.

      Second they were going to be the alternative OS for the PC.

      That didn't work either.

      Then they were going to be the alternative OS for the internet appliance market.

      Turns out there never was an internet appliance market, so that didn't work either.

      So now Be has gotten smart. They realize they can't sell software worth a damn...

      So they've switched to selling lawsuits. Thus the adoption of fantasy based marketing. They can't very well sue Microsoft if they weren't crushed!
  • So Long (Score:2, Funny)

    by Vishniac ( 548699 )
    Dissolving? The ENTIRE company? All ONE [slashdot.org] employee? What will he do?

    Isn't a requiem for Be a little late?

  • by Xafloc ( 48004 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:05PM (#3108559) Homepage
    I am a BeOS supporter, as I love the OS. However, I have not run the OS on a primary machine for over 2 years. BeOS users need to recognize that the only hope for Be is a Free Be, and that is not going to happen. YellowTab, as far as I know, does not have the source to the licensed code. So therefore, any changes they make are going to be cosmetic and not core changes.

    The way I see it, if you really like the BeOS, head over to the Open-Source Be like projects like openbeos [sourceforge.net] and pledge your support with money or code.

    • by __past__ ( 542467 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:40PM (#3108847)
      a Free Be

      I always thought they would have been more successful if they changed their name to "Beer".

    • The way I see it, if you really like the BeOS, head over to the Open-Source Be like projects like openbeos [sourceforge.net] and pledge your support with money or code.

      Well this is also a problem... immediately when it became apparent that Be was in big trouble, there opened at least three different open source Be clone-projects. Now at best we'll get a bunch of uncompleted Be-clones and maybe one or two usable systems. At worst we'll get a whole lot of Be-clones, each one with it's own quirks and problems, and developers for Be will have to code around quirks right and left to make anything work on all the Be-like systems. To make things worse, at least BlueOS have already started thinking about extending the API [blueos.free.fr], so that in the end nothing will be compatible with anything, but everything will be "almost" compatible.

  • though... (Score:3, Funny)

    by simpl3x ( 238301 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:08PM (#3108597)
    they were a worthy competitor, microsoft will be picking itself up, dusting off the scratches and bruises, and moving on to try and win the desktop. it's a tough business and only stronger competitors lay in its future. apple, i guess, is next, or next is apple!??
  • by AndyChrist ( 161262 ) <andy_christ AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:08PM (#3108598) Homepage
    More like a rival to Amiga. Except with less software.
    • This has been modded funny, but it's actually true; when the BeBox came out, quite a few of the good Amiga programmers at the time changed platforms (each at their own speed, but as the releases started slowing up on the old platform... you know the drill, if you've ever owned a niche-platform machine).
  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:29PM (#3108766) Homepage Journal
    the towel is really a database and you can set user-defined attributes on the towel. The towel is also built from the ground-up to support SMP, has very low latency, and a well thought-through user interface.

    (the sound of Be's second CPU being unchecked)
  • Mostly Offtopic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by extrasolar ( 28341 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:35PM (#3108813) Homepage Journal
    But I am still trying to come up with Be users and advocates I know who I can laugh at.

    Remember when Be was going take over the world yet us "free software zealots" who wanted the source code kept saying "but...what if Be goes under or becomes some kind of tyrant?"

    Hopefully they learned that freedom means giving control of the software as well as its power to its users. Power contained in the hands of the few is little power at all.
    • Re:Mostly Offtopic (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tswinzig ( 210999 )
      Remember when Be was going take over the world yet us "free software zealots" who wanted the source code kept saying "but...what if Be goes under or becomes some kind of tyrant?"

      But you free software zealots wanted the source code so you could copy their cool ideas over into Linux, not so you could keep Be and BeOS alive and well. The end effect would be the same for fans of BeOS.
      • But you free software zealots wanted the source code so you could copy their cool ideas over into Linux, not so you could keep Be and BeOS alive and well. The end effect would be the same for fans of BeOS.

        But that way we would all have BeOS's cool features with or without Be. If Linux matched BeOS with the support of its codebase, would you still be upset just because it would be named Linux?

        And for those of you who would want to keep the Be name alive and well, with the source code you could have. Your loss as well as ours. Did anyone win in this scenario besides Microsoft and Apple?
        • But that way we would all have BeOS's cool features with or without Be. If Linux matched BeOS with the support of its codebase, would you still be upset just because it would be named Linux?

          There is no comparison between Linux and BeOS. Linux is a programming geek's sandbox. BeOS is elegant and fun to use (and to program for).

          So if Linux was just like it is today, but with the advanced tricks from BeOS, I still wouldn't use it. The thing I like about BeOS is the simple design, the great API, and the way the UI is designed.

          And for those of you who would want to keep the Be name alive and well, with the source code you could have. Your loss as well as ours. Did anyone win in this scenario besides Microsoft and Apple?

          Sort of ... there is a new open source operating system being worked on right now, OpenBeOS. The kernel is [based on] NewOS, written by a former Be engineer. The goal is binary compatability with BeOS. There is a separate (related) project, called The Glass Elevator, which is looking at cool new features to add after the first release... but the first release is basically trying to pick up right where R5 left off. Progress is being made.

          http://open-beos.sourceforge.net/

          This project would have never taken off without Be's demise, and Be would never have released BeOS as open source.

          It is what it is.
  • by DaveJay ( 133437 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:36PM (#3108815)
    If they're going to go ahead with their lawsuit (which may well result in a large settlement down the road), but they're dissolving and distributing now, what happens to any monies collected from the lawsuit?

    Any lawyers want to fill us in? Do the shareholders (potentially) get some of it down the road, or does it go to some other mysterious land (assuming all debts are paid off)?
    • Try reading the press release, where you'll notice that those holding stock as of March 15 will be considered the 'final stockholders', and will be the ones getting any disbursements from the company, including anything left over now, before the lawsuit ends.
  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:42PM (#3108855) Homepage Journal
    Now we can call it "Been".
  • by _pi-away ( 308135 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:42PM (#3108858) Homepage
    They've been dead ever since they decided to "change focus" from multimedia to networking. They had steinberg lined up, high-end sound card makers were starting to announce driver support plans, then they "change focus." As if the networking niche wasn't completely saturated already. Too bad, they could've given mac a run for their money in the multimedia market . . .
    • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @07:49PM (#3109682) Journal
      Good Lord. Here we go again.

      They've been dead ever since they decided to "change focus" from multimedia to networking.

      They didn't change focus from media to networking. They changed focus from burning many millions a month on an OS that no OEM would distribute, to a company burning only ~$1 million a month, selling licenses to companies for an internet appliance OS. Companies such as Sony and Compaq. This has been rehashed too many times already, read a little history. If Be had not changed focus, they would have been dead many months sooner, since they were burning 10x as much cash, and still not selling the OS.

      They had steinberg lined up, high-end sound card makers were starting to announce driver support plans, then they "change focus."

      Ooh! They had Steinberg lined up! And some sound card drivers ANNOUNCING support plans. YIPPEE!! What were they thinking when they changed focus? I mean, we all know with a powerhouse like Steinberg lined up, and sound card drivers announced, success is sure to follow quickly!

      As if the networking niche wasn't completely saturated already.

      When Be changed focus, it wasn't saturated at all. The IA market was just starting out. No one owned the market like Microsoft owns the desktop market. And why the hell do you keep referring to it as 'networking'? It's not like they were trying to compete with any networking companies.

      Too bad, they could've given mac a run for their money in the multimedia market . . .

      Yeah, I thought so too, 4-5 years ago, when they first came out on Intel's platform. Then after a few years, reality set in -- Be was running out of cash, and sales of the OS were not picking up enough steam. It takes time to compete in the desktop market, even longer when trying to compete against an entrenched monopolist that illegally uses its power to provide barriers-to-entry in the market.

      How an ignorant post such as yours was marked +4 I'll never know.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @05:55PM (#3108930) Homepage Journal
    From now on, we'll only hear about you in "They're making a come-back" stories like the Amiga and OS/2 ones that make their rounds about every six months to a year.

    To that end, I'd like to start the rumor now that Be, Amiga and IBM are teaming up to make AmBeOS/2, which will feature a telepathic user interface, 128 bit memory access, and an AI module that actually does your thinking for you.

    • If they do, in fact (!), go for the telepathic interface then I'd recommend that they go for BeAmOS.

    • The only difference is that OS/2 is actually very much alive and kicking. New versions were recently released, IBM is still supporting it, and new software is being written for it. There's even a conference [warpstock.org] for it being planned this Fall - the same conference that has been going on for over five years.

      OS/2 isn't making a comeback, because it's never gone away.

    • Hmm. An OS originally developed by a company now bankrupt (BeOS), an OS originally developed by a company now bankrupt (Amiga), and an OS . . .

      . . . that is currently available, that is under active development, and is currently worth millions in current contracts with large financial institutions (OS/2).

      Calling OS/2 dead is like calling Solaris dead; it may not be on your desktop, but that doesn't mean it ain't still around.

      • The Amiga guys saying the same thing. It's like the Monty Python Dead Parrot Skit. It's not just restin', do you understand me?

        IBM would have launched the last installation of CD into outer space 5 years ago if they could figure out how to get all the banks that insist on using it to move to Windows. It's a pain in the ass when the customers base makes support of an OS you'd rather be forgotten a requirement for future contracts with you.

        Nonetheless inside IBM itself, the OS is all but dead and that is the most telling sign that it's gone the way of the dodo. It's not on my desktop now, but it was mandated to be for all IBMers at one point. The once active discussion forums rarely see any traffic and when they do, it's some bitter OS/2 advocate bitching about how the company fucked the OS/2 community over. All development now takes place in India, Latvia and Austin Texas, although from what I understand of the arrangements, Austin just directs the overseas shops and doesn't do a lot of hands on itself.

        OS/2 IS dead. It may remain in use damn near forever in niche markets where solutions already exist and developing new ones isn't a priority, but so will MS DOS 5.0. They will never fix any of the problems that prevented the OS from completely owning the desktop environment (And they easily COULD have owned the desktop with SO little work.) They will never add a new feature that isn't demanded by some large bank backed by the threat of several multi-million dollar contracts that they could take elsewhere. And you will never again be able to walk into CompUSA and go "I Wanna buy me some OS/2" and have anyone there know what the hell you are talking about.

        Do I necessarily like that? No! I was a staunch advocate. I did the team OS/2 thing. I still have the letters of appreciation from IBM corporate thanking me for working the '95 COMDEX. I was the first IBM OS/2 Certified engineer working the phones at IBM Boca. I know how close IBM was to taking the desktop market away from Microsoft. But there comes a time when you just have to let go. IBM screwed the pooch and Microsoft won again. Just accept it.

        By the way, Solaris isn't dead, but it's starting to smell a little.

  • by Junta ( 36770 )
    It was really kinda neat and worked well in the limited cpacity it could...

    But it had gotten right in architecture design, they more than made up for in terms of application and hardware support.

    I know, the software is chicken and egg syndrome for a proprietary operating system, but they needed something to appeal. They at least had a focus, multimedia applications, but they didn't even have a decent MPEG-1 decoder, only a really slower, really low quality decoder, and that was, unfortunately, perhaps the best Be ever got with a widespread media format/codec. If they had given away the platform from the start with the Development tools, they might have garnered enough application support to carry them further. It seems to me after free.be.com started doing its thing, that BeBits started to pick up in development efforts. If they had been around before Linux had gotten a lot of decent multimedia and desktop support, they might have stood a better chance.

    As far as hardware, for a multimedia OS, the video card drivers were always crap. Rarely did they support stuff like YUV overlays, and they expected to be a good multimedia OS? Sorry, but I don't think so.

    The reality is now you have MS for most all desktop users, Mac for the anti-establishment, but non-techincal people with money to throw at overpriced hardware, and Linux for geeks like me, which now has decent multimedia playback and desktop software. Not good for content creation or gaming (but could be with the right applications..), but quite suitable for so much else...
  • Very sad :( (Score:2, Redundant)

    by niola ( 74324 )
    This is indeed very sad news, but I think everyone saw the writing on the wall.

    Since it was written as a media OS it handled sound and video recording much better than Windows.

    Latency to video and audio hardware was often as much as 90% less than same hardware running Windows or even Linux and a lot of people that used proprietary recording software on BeOS would be the first to tell you how awesome this OS was.

    RIP BeOS :(

    --Jon
  • by Adnans ( 2862 )
    Does this mean my Be(en)Box is worth some money?

    -adnans
  • Tonight I will fire up the ole PC Server 704 in salute to their wonderful work.

    Yes it is installed, yes it does boot, yes it is quite bad ass (: (yes I leave it off due to emense power consumption)

    IBM PC Server 704 (image) [bigassfileserver.com] - I'll make some webcam shots of the bad boy tonight too.

    ~LoudMusic
  • by cartman ( 18204 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @06:24PM (#3109130)
    Be wanted to create an OS that was superior to Windows and Mac OS. That was EASY TO DO. Back then, MS and Apple operating systems SUCKED ROYALLY and ANYONE could make something better. Some companies actually did make something better (OS/2). Even Apple and MS could have made something better if they started from scratch, however they both realized (correctly) that application support is far more important than kernel threading, so they stuck with their crappy backwards-compatible OSes.

    Everyone was, at that time, aware of the "chicken and egg" problem: a new platform has no software, so no users will migrate to it, so nobody will write software, etc. This problem had doomed every new platform. Everyone was aware of it. Be decided to forge ahead anyway, while offering no solution to this problem whatsoever.

    The result, predictably, was that BeOS had no applications. Running that nifty teapot demo got a little old, and nobody felt compelled to pay for it.

    If you're going to make a new commercial desktop OS, forge an alliance with Adobe etc and have app makers lined up BEFOREHAND. The game console makers know this.

    tom
    • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Monday March 04, 2002 @07:58PM (#3109731) Journal
      Everyone was, at that time, aware of the "chicken and egg" problem: a new platform has no software, so no users will migrate to it, so nobody will write software, etc. This problem had doomed every new platform. Everyone was aware of it. Be decided to forge ahead anyway, while offering no solution to this problem whatsoever.

      Wrong. Be did have a solution. They made it easy to install/run BeOS alongside Windows and Linux. Then people could easily switch into Be for things that it excelled at, such as multimedia. Their plans are all clearly laid out in their lawsuit against Microsoft, if you care to read it.

      The result, predictably, was that BeOS had no applications. Running that nifty teapot demo got a little old, and nobody felt compelled to pay for it.

      Clearly someone who never used BeOS for more than a couple days (or past 1997). BeOS had plenty of decent applications, many of them cheap or free. GoBe productive is a great office application, for example. Ever used it?

      And how did Windows get so popular? Ahh, I forgot, they weren't going up against any entrenched monopolists in the desktop market. Apple's only still around because they started at the same time as Microsoft, and could build up a loyal userbase, which sustained them long enough to build a niche.

      Be was only ever TRYING to build a niche based on multimedia, they never had that niche market, though. It takes time. Hard to do when an 800lb. gorilla is using illegal tactics to stall you.

      If you're going to make a new commercial desktop OS, forge an alliance with Adobe etc and have app makers lined up BEFOREHAND. The game console makers know this.

      Yes, let's turn to the game console makers for examples of great businesses! Need I list all the failed game console makers in the past decade? It's a fairly high percentage of all game console makers!

      Besides, I'm sure it would have been cheap to get a company like Adobe to port their huge application (Photoshop) to an OS with a tiny market. Great business strategy... if your business has billions to burn.
      • Wrong. Be did have a solution. They made it easy to install/run BeOS alongside Windows and Linux. Then people could easily switch into Be for things that it excelled at, such as multimedia. Their plans are all clearly laid out in their lawsuit against Microsoft, if you care to read it.

        This is false. BeOS was not originally designed to run alongside anything. Originally, there was an entire PLATFORM including HARDWARE (the "bebox").

        Yes, let's turn to the game console makers for examples of great businesses! Need I list all the failed game console makers in the past decade? It's a fairly high percentage of all game console makers!

        The game console makers that failed are the ones that adopted the same business strategy as Be: build a console and hope the game developers come.

        Besides, I'm sure it would have been cheap to get a company like Adobe to port their huge application (Photoshop) to an OS with a tiny market. Great business strategy... if your business has billions to burn.

        If you don't have money to burn, don't start a company to compete against Micorosoft and Apple. "I have a garage and some tools, perhaps I'll start a car company to overtake Toyota."
    • Everyone was, at that time, aware of the "chicken and egg" problem: a new platform has no software, so no users will migrate to it, so nobody will write software, etc. This problem had doomed every new platform. Everyone was aware of it. Be decided to forge ahead anyway, while offering no solution to this problem whatsoever.

      Microsoft actually had a good answer for that problem. They made the "Designed for Window 95" sticker requirements include that the program ran correctly on Windows NT.

      By the time they released Windows XP, most programs could already run.

      This is, of course, completely tangent to their guilt.

  • Huh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by donkeyboy ( 191279 )
    I thought they already sold the towel to Palm.
  • I discovered BeOS about a year ago, just BeFore it died. I installed the Personal Edition on my overclocked Pentium 225 :) and sat back amazed at what a huge speed gain it had over Winblows98. I could do a million things at once, with no ill effect. (Try scrolling a webpage while listening to a mp3 on w..i..n..d..o..w..s) Ugh.) Then I tried finding something similar to Acid (by Sonic Foundry) and was immediately dissapointed to find nothing that would work for me. :( I was so enamored by this OS I looked into writing my own software. I realized I could be either a programmer or a musician, and I chose musician. (I've had much more practice at that :)

    I still have Beos installed on my machines and boot into it occasionally to see if BeAcid has suddenly appeared. It hasn't. I will definately look into OpenBeos when it gets more fleshed out, and look forward to the day I can stop using something I hate (windows) to make something I love (music)

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