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Be, Inc. to go public? 98

Jump Suit Jesse writes "It's been a long time in the making, but Be, Inc. may finally be going public. It should be interesting to see how this IPO fares before the alleged Red Hat IPO. Perhaps this cash infusion will be used for a nice propaganda campaign. "
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Be, Inc. to go public?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think that be won't go public for said reasons. The problem is that they have mixed unix and windows theory in one. they charge a ridiculous (please excuse the spelling errors) amount (70 bucks last time I looked) for an operating system that really advanced, but not made for a home user market. For those of you wondering, I have used beos. My friend purchased it, and now regrets doing so. Mix in an operating system that you have to pay for that relies on third party developers to write software (most of it free) and expect it to make a killing?!? No way. Be is competing for developers that already enjoy writing free software for linux, or, aghh** windows. If you can get the same thing with linux, why bother the 70 bucks? What would going public do if , to me anyways, be has yet to find a market they can grab a hold of. It looks like a media OS, but I have yet to hear it has been used in such fields with dominance over any other OS.

    PS: sorry about the anonymous posting, My POP3 is down, so I havn't gotten my pswd for slash yet. Feel free to write to my account acudzilo@iiinc.com I i'll be happy to read what you think when my pop3 gets back up (hopefully today when I get home)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    BeOS' strengths:
    1. Actually designed for SMP, unlike Linux.
    2. Better multithreading, even on single processor machines.
    3. 64 bit file system w/journaling
    4. Clean API
    5. Inexpensive although not free

    BeOS' weaknesses (for now):
    1. Multiuser security model not yet implemented
    2. A lot of hardware not supported
    3. Hardware 3D acceleration not finished (not that Linux is that much further along)
    4. No way to turn off GUI (not much of an issue until and unless Be comes out with a "BeOS Server" version that has real security).

    Note that "closed source" and "proprietary" aren't on either list, in my opinion.
  • The whole OSS idea is really an outlier, even though it's not a bad idea. I simply can't imagine why so many otherwise intelligent people believe that proprietary software is going to be swept away. Criticizing BeOS because it isn't OSS is ludicrous. The issue should be whether it is a good product for a reasonable price.

    I mean really, folks, why are computer operating systems intrinsically different from every other product known to man? (I'm familiar with all the RMS/ESR/GNU etc. arguments, I just think they're quite a stretch). Where are the open source automobiles that come with enough engineering info to build a duplicate or even improved car if needed? What about open source restaurants that have complete recipes available on request? Do you feel "enslaved" because these products are "closed source" or "commercial"?

    The paradigm shift required to allow OSS to displace proprietary operating systems would be a hell of a lot bigger than the entire field of computing put together, because the U.S. and international economy revolve completely around proprietary products, and around _money_.

    I think BeOS will have a hard time growing beyond a niche market because of Microsoft's anticompetitive practices, but the product itself could easily win over a lot of users (both novices and advanced) because it's so easy and elegant AND because it is a commercial product. Commercial products are what virtually everyone is used to(outside of /., that is).

    Will OSS continue to develop and flourish? Absolutely! But so will proprietary software, and I find it simply mind-boggling that anyone considers the whole "world domination" thing to be anything other than a standing joke.
  • Aside from one smart ass AC, I have yet to see anyone in these discussions make an attempt at bashing BeOS, and at least three people screaming to give it a chance. Chill. Take a breather. I like to think that all os's (yep. *all* of them) are capable of living in harmony. I've used Be on a very limited basis, but during its usage, I must admit, it was nice. Take it easy.

    ------------------
  • Yep.. Here's another lame "If OSes were cars..." This is my take:


    Linux: The 1988 VW GTi with supercharger and nitrous system. It's cheap, damned fast, easy to modify, but ugly to most people. The people who like it love the way it looks.


    BeOS: BMW M Coupe, that you scored pretty cheap. Has the performance and handling, but has a more refined feel. Not as easily modifiable, but that would upset the balance. Looks neat, not many people have seen them, and the appearance grows on you. Pretty new, but has a good lineage.


    Windows NT: Four cylinder Honda Accord. Lots of them out there, pretty big and underpowered. Good amount of of percieved security. People in GTis and M Coupes laugh at them. Hard to modify.


    Windows 9x: Honda Civic. Really cheap, and really common, and a lot of kewl d00ds like to p1mp them out by cutting the springs and putting big stickers all over them. See http://riceboypage.com [riceboypage.com] for more info. VW and M folks laugh even more.


    Solaris: Jaguar XJ6. Expensive, kind of rare, hard to get parts for. Still fairly fast, though it spends half of the time on the shop. Has rust spots because of its age. Hard to find a mechanic.

  • Okay. I'll point it out.

    I like using Linux because it has all my apps, and it supports all my hardware. BeOS probably would too, I tried booting it once, and what I noticed was the striking similarity many of the components had to Linux. Bootup, LILO, you name it...

    So why couldn't it be more compatible? How about more free? Sure, you can compile a lot of UNIX stuff on it, but not everything. They apparently support a lot of the old baggage in the kernel, but not enough to really get the cross-platform source-compatible benefits.

    Multi-threading libraries. Isn't that what glibc2 is supposed to do? Multi-processor support. Don't we have that already? A Media OS. What about The GIMP? Sure, BeOS might have some advantages here, but I don't find it compelling enough to switch.

    I also find it offensive when people use open tools and don't contribute back their changes. BeOS did fix this mistake, somewhat, but it isn't even close to open. Sure, I'd use it over MacOS X, but not over Linux.

    And yes, I find built-in GUI's offensive. How do *they* know that I want everything to look like that? People argue that this leads to a "consistent user interface", but that won't stop people from writing their own applications with different styles of interfacing with the user.
    (Winamp. KAI Power Tools. There. No 'consistent user interface' on Windows or the Mac. Ha ha ha.)

    I hope BeOS steals market share from Windows, but seeing yet another closed-source commercial OS struggling for dominance doesn't make me feel any better about it. I used to write DOS commands that essentially did functions that basic UNIX system utilities do just because I thought there was functionality lacking. No more will I make excuses for a vendor when I can get something better, or be allowed to do it better myself.

    Also, I'm going to get a TV card for Linux. Why? It's cheaper than getting a 17" TV, and neater, too. :)
  • Thanks, that was a good, fair reply. I admit that some of the things I said were a bit troll-like in nature, but I like to see people think before they spout off. :)

    I realize that BeOS does "persistent" multi-threading, and I'm sure that makes the SMP a lot finer, assuming that your task benefits from this, and the syncronization doesn't slow things down.

    However, UNIX really designs for this from the start. You don't have to use threads, fork should work fine too, but sometimes threads are theoretically more efficient (though not as portable IMO) if done correctly. Actually, you can run commands in the background, or use commands that do this for you. The obvious one is 'make -j'... :) But yes, for large graphical operations, it would be good to make sure that your OS is using all the processors and video card hardware features, that speeds things up a lot.

    I admit that X still has lots of cruft slowing it down, and there are projects to fix that, but generally it's fast enough for my needs. Since I don't do large, multimedia projects, and I don't have the hardware for it, I can't really compare them here though.

    My favorite MS-DOS graphics app was Improces, it was shareware, and I never could find another app that did quite what that program did. It was only in 256 colors, but that's all we used back then... :) When DOS was created, digital video was sci-fi too, but it's easy to grab the processor, and the screeen, and play movies, assuming you have an app for it. X has DGA, which speeds up at least the screen-grabbing, and hopefully you'd have hardware for real movie-playing. (Did I mention I'm getting a TV card for my Linux box? :) However, for video editing, I'd have to find a good app, and I don't know what Linux has. I'll take your word for it here that it doesn't support it as well, because there seems to be less need for this sort of thing in the Linux community.

    Well, if done properly, you *can* add stuff here and there to make it more "multimedia", I admit that sometimes this adds cruft and needs to be reworked, but that happens too. Huge and bloated actually seem to be synonymous with multimedia, but it has more requirements than the command line does, so that's expected. Unstable and inefficient... well, not in this case, I have yet to have *that* problem in Linux.

    But I agree that if you have a tool that's designed for a specific task, it'll probably do better than a general-purpose tool. However, Linux is a really good general-purpose tool, and it even has a few specific purposes now, since people change and adapt it for new tasks. So it'll be interesting to see what happens here.

    Of course, if I had the money, I'd try BeOS out, but since I'm running a one-processor system, I really doubt I'd see that many benefits over Linux.
  • You're missing the point. You are trying to push multimedia focused GUI's to people who really don't give a damn about them. All this crap about BE and multimedia will only have one effect, it'll pretty much doom BE to the same status as another "Multimedia" OS, namely the Amiga. Those who refuse to learn from the history are doomed to repeat it over and over and over and over again.....
  • But with an OS that sells like BeOS does, can they really be thinking an IPO is a good idea?
  • How, exactly, am I enslaved to Be?

    Well, read RMS sometimes :) Ok, sorry, it's for real. I turned to Linux early, and I always seem to find a deep problem in every commercial program, and suffer from each of them. I abhor them. There are cool ones, but I can't depend on them because of bugs I can't fix. And that's not just a two-day hard bug-finding session, you also have to wait (possibly months) for the vendor to actually ship a fixed product, even if you spared a great deal of job from them to find the bug. I did this for both commercial and GPL programs, and it's unbelievably cool to get rid of an irksome problem in the free one, and it's highly depressing to pass the torch to the nameless corporation to get it fixed.

    Otherwise, you could argue that in the case of a sufficiently Unix-like system, like MacOS X, or BeOS (i.e. where you can make most of the GNU programs run), you have *more* than me, since you can also run the "native" applications. Still binary-only programs always leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth, really. But maybe it could be turned around, and we'll see BeOS emulators if someone really needs that environment. Oh, and indeed, it's not about being enslaved, but being limited. Like working in a 4 sqft cubicle, that's how I feel when working with binary-only software. Bumping into something at each sudden movement.

  • by Chexum ( 1498 ) on Thursday May 06, 1999 @07:24AM (#1902473) Homepage
    Well, I haven't seen BeOS, my bad. But I'm not the kind of guy who likes to play with OS'es, I even hasn't all the time I need to tweak with Linux :)

    But, BeOS still might be an excellent, comfortable, inexpensive, great commercial OS. That's OK. But it's still proprietary. Why do one needs to be enslaved to another company?

    I didn't think I'm freedom-addicted to GPL, but I start to think if anything's going to be a big success for a long time, it won't be "another one", be it just another audio codec, another TV format, another commercial OS.

    I want a paradigm shift. Like, the internet; like Linux. Like, throwing out the marketing business and have no ads. (Use the search engines.)

    The world is really changing, and you can't build the unknown future on todays' commercially available material.

    (I really fail to see how any commercial OS'es could take new followers if not based on a really different idea: freedom). Nevertheless, BeOS might be a big success -- for a while --, but then *we* will come :)

  • by bjb ( 3050 ) on Thursday May 06, 1999 @06:50AM (#1902474) Homepage Journal
    While I'd like to see this company go public, I don't know if it is going to draw much attention to the operating system. I mean that in the way that it is going to ride the initial hype wave of "Look! It's another dot-com!" and the price will jump. Most people on Wall St. don't know much about technology, and the analysts probably are going to just look at what their e-commerce potential is. I don't see the BeOS as much of an internet strategy, and that is what the street craves currently. Yes, BeOS is quite a good technology, but consider this: What is better, the 3Dfx Voodoo chipset or the TNT? 3Dfx is the one in the market's favor right now, despite the fact that the TNT actually shows more promise right now.

    The street is going to jump on it initially, because everyone is looking for that technology stock that is going to make them rich. However, once they realize that it is an operating system company competing with Microsoft and that the market share is relatively low, the price will drop back down. If you want to short, this probably is a good one to do ;-)

  • People who strongly support a minority computer platform for itself rather than for its applications often believe they have found the One True Way, and those who are not followers of the One True Way are infidels to be treated, at best, with scorn. You see this with Amiga users and with Mac users; over the last few years seeing it with Linux users has become very common (at least in geek circles), and we're beginning to see it with BeOS users.

    I think the Linux community is susceptible to it in a way that other user groups haven't been, because for a Linux zealot, the One True Way is based on a (sincere) belief that you must have the source code for your operating system. Technical arguments are sidelined--in theory, any new technology can be integrated into the open source model, and a tenet of the faith is that all technologies eventually will be.

    For BeOS zealots, conversely, technical arguments are a cornerstone of the faith. The OS must be designed for low latency and high bandwidth from the ground up, so this tenet goes; aggregating new technologies to older ones is to be avoided on performance grounds. Linux started as a rewrite of Minix to bring it up to the functionality of Unix; it may have pure and crunchy philosophical goodness, but that doesn't mean you can edit broadcast-quality video in real time. (And before anyone brings it up, a Linux rendering farm being used on "Titanic" doesn't mean Digital Domain chucked their SGIs. And to give equal time: I don't give a damn HOW many QuickTime files you can play at once under BeOS. It's cute the first time. Now get over it.)

    I don't really think logic is going to keep people from looking at OS choice as a religious issue. But, realists can still take heart. Those who aren't religious are going to evaluate Linux and BeOS based on the desired application. Server farms aren't going to be choosing BeOS over Linux, and audio post-production studios aren't going to be choosing Linux over BeOS. BeOS will succeed or fail independently of Linux's various successes (or failures); in fact, its success may very well depend on succeeding in vertical markets where "source openness" isn't a buying consideration at all.

  • Fine technology never makes it to the ash heap.

    So do you believe that Multics wasn't fine technology, or do you believe it didn't end up on the ash heap?

    I am not saying BeOS is doomed to end up on the ash heap. I don't know where BeOS will end up (and I suspect many of the people who think they know - whether they think they know it'll succeed, or that it'll end up on the ash heap - don't really know, either). I'm saying I've seen nothing to lead me to believe that "Fine technology never makes it to the ash heap." It'd be lovely if that were true, but I've seen nothing to convince me it's true.

  • All this "BeOS must suck because it's not Linux" is just as stupid as the Amiga/Mac/Windoze fanboys that go on and on and on about how Linux/BeOS/QNX/BSD/Amiga/Mac/Atari/whatever suck because they're not their platform of choice, without ever taking a look at the stuff they're slagging.

    Only having one OS around would really suck, even if it was something useful like BeOS or Linux. Trying out new things expands your brain.

    Playing a bunch of movies at once is evidence that BeOS is good at handling streaming media without throwing huge amounts of hardware at the problem. I'm guessing this is so offensive for Linux fans because X sucks so hard for this sort of work, and it's not the sort of thing that matters to your typical code jock.

  • Will you guys quit being rumor mongers? Bob Young has officially stated that he has no intention of going public.
  • Let's see... the original poster used an account with an email address given, didn't call people rude names, and has currently received a +4 score from the moderators for that comment. What kind of a response is this?

    There were no negative posts until this BeOS zealot posted his foolish remarks. There was no trouble so the idiot BeOS advocate decided to stir up some controversy.

    Because of these routine trolls by BeOS zealots I vow that I will never give BeOS a look. My life is very busy, and I would rather spend what little free time I have associating with grown-ups.

    If you said "a flame," you made the right call!

  • An Apple alumnus decides to market his own hardware at first, then concentrates on the operating system for an alternative CPU, then decides to rebase his OS for the Intel architecture. Everything he promotes is impressive, but still never catches on fully.

    Why does this sound familiar?

    And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Be is headed for the ash-heap, IPO or not?

    Flame away..


    -----

  • I don't understand why there is a linux camp bashing BeOS and a BeOS camp bashing linux. There are quite a few people who feel that it's a good idea to use both-linux as a server and BeOS as a desktop. In fact, http://bemagazine.com/ was created by the same people who brought us Linux Journal. So use both OS's-each have their strengths and weaknesses just as both development models have their strengths and weaknesses. Open source is a good development model. So is a highly focused bunch of brilliant engineers. Beats decisions by dopey PHB's any day of the week (hint: Microsoft)
  • ya but Windows doesn't work very well. There's a need for competition in this department
  • by mcramer ( 7010 ) on Thursday May 06, 1999 @07:12AM (#1902483) Homepage
    There are two sides to going public. You get a large amount of cash, true, but you also become a slave to stockholders. Jean-Louis Gassee may have great plans for his technology, but stockholders tend to have great plans only for their investments.
  • I guess Mr. Gassse's accountant told him he's got to stop pouring all his own money into it if he wants to be able to afford food and shelter after he turns 60.
  • I recall someone from Be mentioning scientific apps as another type of app that could benifit from the 'media' aspects of the OS. Database applications on the other hand are boring. :)(IMHO of course)
  • I agree that IBM isn't marketing OS/2 at the client and hardly doing much at the server but they are still supporting it. Last year they signed a deal the largest bank in Brasil for around $1.4 Billion with OS/2 on the client and servers along with as/400 servers. They still make alot of money from the product and to tell you the truth, it really doesn't need much work. Some new drivers and minor tweaks is all it needs. Heck, it had a CORBA-based desktop, flat 32bit memory, and multi-threading in 1991. Nine years of fixes to a well designed OS should make it pretty good. Did you know that GIMP runs on OS/2? So does most recompiled Linux apps when run in XFree86 for OS/2.

    It isn't dead, just doesn't need much fixing anymore. New apps would be nice.....
  • You forgot to mention the value of TIME. I'm a long-time BeOS user who has recently been trying to spend more time in Linux, and I'm absolutely blown away by how much time Linux vacuums away when all I want to do is get some work done. Configuration and customization in Linux is a major pain, even if it has made great strides recently. BeOS has spoiled me rotten. It just works, and it works beautifully. You can figure it out without turning to books or to the internet for help. My time is worth something, and BeOS doesn't cost me time. Linux does.
  • If multiuser capabilities are the most important thing you consider when choosing an OS, then by all mean, choose Linux. If you're interested in speed, usability, grace, and intelligent design, you better take a closer look at the BeOS.
  • In the recently released BeOS demo video, Jean-Louis says he wants BeOS to become "The Linux of media applications."
  • I agree with you, BeOS really does what it's supposed to well.

    The fact that R4 is only the Second version of the BeOS that works on X86. The fact that it doesn't have drivers is really its downpoint though. I have a SB Live, and because there is no support yet, I hardly go into BeOS.

    But, Genki will change that, R4.5 should have 3dfx support, more drivers. etc..


  • Hello? BeOS is specifically NOT for chemical engineering or heavy database work. It is a multimedia-oriented OS. Be isn't trying to be everything to everybody as Linux is - it has a focus, and stays pretty much within it.

    -lx
  • I like using Linux because it has all my apps, and it supports all my hardware.

    No offense, but that's what I hear from Windows users every time I try to talk about ANY other OS, be it Linux, BSD, or BeOS.

    -lx


  • Sounds kind of like what I usually say about so many Linux users - grow the hell up. However, I still gave Linux a look. Then I looked at BSD, and BeOS, and never gave Linux a look again.

    Trolls by BeOS zealots...sheesh. I've NEVER seen a 'BeOS zealot' go on as Linux-ers do - world domination, Linux on the desktop, Linux on your server, OSS is a panacea...do you have any idea what it looks like to non-linux users reading slashdot?


    -lx

  • I boot linux when I want to write code, experiment, play mp3's etc. I boot windows (unfortunately) when I want to play games, and Be OS when I want to do multimedia things. No offense people, I love linux, but have you people ever tried to watch a vcd on linux? You have MpegTV (which is commercial if you want the GUI), which skips horribly on a PII 400 if you double the size of the playing movie. It's even worse if you do full screen (which is a pain to set up). It's just a matter of using the right OS for the right task. BeOS does have a place, but if you don't need it's features, there is no reason to use it.
  • Why does this sound familiar?

    Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it, right?

    [humor]
    I guess this means Jobs will be ousted (again) and Apple will later decide to buy Be!
    [/humor]
  • "due to its reliance on an ATAPI CD-ROM drive for installation, which I just plain old don't use around here."
    I installed BeOS with a SCSI CD-ROM. I suspect you haven't read the hardware support lists since R3, it includes the more popular adaptec SCSI boards now.
  • "Be may look all cute and cuddly with all those little icons, but you can conform the system to what you want, to exactly what you want to see. If you can show me this, I'd love to see this. I mean your dazzled at first but "sunshine and rainbows can give you a headache"

    Sorry but I must use a M$ quote, "where do you want to go today?"
    What do you mean that BeOS isn't customizeable. SHow me what you can do in linux (short of customizing the kernel) and I can do it in Be
  • You're a bit ahead of yourself.. You just can't 'wait to read all of the comments. "BeOS sucks." "BeOS is a crappy OS."'.

    People may slag it, yes. But I'm sure they have their reasons for it (narrow mindedness comes to mind).

    There are people out here in the rworld willing to give anything a go. Hell I for one am planning my next computer purchase on the hardware supported by OS's like BeOS. And from what I've seen on their web page. It looks very nice.

    The next computer I buy I plan on installing 7 OS's onto. (BeOS, DOS/Win98, WinNT, FreeBSD, SuSe, Debian, OS/2 for starters).

    The only thing I have against BeOS is that they're sold out of R3... (Hey I'm a student I need the cheap option)
  • >And why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Be is
    >headed for the ash-heap, IPO or not?

    I give up - why *do* you have that sneaking suspicion?
  • You're right - I probably shouldn't have included ESR in that. ESR has stated, though, that he doesn't want software that sucks, and I sort of followed a line-of-thought with the comments I assumed were coming (namely, "BeOS sucks/is poor quality/isn't Linux").

    Eric, if you're reading this, I apologize.

  • While I agree with your desire to point out the advantages of BeOS with comparison to Linux, I don't think either the tone or the specific comments of your post reflect very well on the BeOS community.

    BeOS is neither better, nor worse, than Linux. "Under the hood" it is merely different. Linux has a leg up on BeOS in some areas, and vice versa.

    Don't turn this into a flame war trying to support BeOS. Don't cop an attitude, don't try to prop up BeOS at Linux' expense. Simply state the facts. The facts are that Linux has a lot more commercial applications being ported to it than BeOS, but BeOS has a lot more of it's designated niche's applications being ported. As for general support, Linux is ahead of BeOS (but not by a huge margin).

    As for some of your other comments (such as lack of developer support for Linux), you're not stating facts - you're shoveling FUD. Perhaps you should take the time to learn a bit more about the Linux community before you start charging in, both barrels blazing.
  • Actually, I'm rather taken aback by the response, which has been almost entirely mediocre. On most of the BeOS posts on Slashdot, there's a steady flood of negative comments.

    I'm sorry if you think I'm a troll and a zealot. I don't intend to be.
  • Those comments have, in the past, been leveled at Linux users as well. How many times in the past couple of years have you heard somebody in the media gurgling FUD about, "It's just not immediately obvious what advantages Linux - and the open source model in general - provide"?

    I will not gush about eight movies playing on the desktop. I will not make claims that BeOS is a better server than Linux. I will not tell you it is flaw-free, runs faster and more stable than Linux, and has a special demo app that will cure cancer, stop war, and clean your bedroom.

    On the other hand, for the things that BeOS has, and especially for the things that BeOS has that no other operating system has, I will stand up for. Playing eight movies may not be a great example, but it's an example of something that is difficult to do on other operating systems (to a much larger extent, eight movies is more of a "wow" to Windows users than Linux users).

    As for the strengths of another proprietary OS - those lie in what that OS has that other OSes do not. There are some technical features of BeOS that Linux doesn't have, nor can't have unless parts of Linux are rewritten drastically (for example, pervasive multithreading). Not only is the kernel able to take advantage of multiple processors, so is the file system, the input system, and even applications not specifically written for multithreading (details of this aspect can be found on Be's web pages). As a result, BeOS is more efficient - holistically - than Linux is at taking advantage of SMP.

    Is BeOS designed to replace Linux? No. Are there lots of things that Linux can do that BeOS can't? You bet. Can you do everything you want on Linux and ignore BeOS? Probably. Does that mean Linux is the best solution for every user, every application, and every lifestyle? No.

    When I used Linux, after using BeOS, I found Linux to be more intrusive. More powerful, yes. I could almost feel the OS humming beneath my fingers as I typed on the command line. But for the same reasons I bought a car with an automatic transmission and not a stick, I want an automatic OS and not a manual one. Linux is too manual for me, and while I might've appreciated that a few years ago, my lifestyle has changed to where I don't have the time or energy to argue with my computer anymore. BeOS fits *my* needs better than Linux does - and that makes BeOS have a major strength as compared to Linux. Linux is not for every user. Windows is not for every user. BeOS is not for every user.

    But BeOS *IS* for *this* user.
  • by Shadowlion ( 18254 ) on Thursday May 06, 1999 @07:06AM (#1902506) Homepage
    I can hardly wait to read all of the comments. "BeOS sucks." "BeOS is a crappy OS." "BeOS has no apps." "BeOS isn't open source."

    I wonder how many of the people who feel qualified to comment on Be and/or BeOS have actually used the operating system for any length of time and tried to be objective about it. From some of the content-free bashing on Slashdot, it seems that the extent of some opinions are formed from either somebody else's comments or from finding a screenshot off the web.

    It may not be up to the same level of usability that Linux is, and it may not have the same level of developer support, it may not be open source, and _God_forbid_ that it have one built-in GUI with no themes support - but don't fall into the Stallman/Raymond-esque viewpoint of "all closed-source software sucks simply because it's closed-source software".

    For all of the shouting the Linux community does about "judging Linux on its merits, not on the FUD Microsoft spreads," I find it very ironic that the Linux community turns around and performs the same Microsoft-ish actions to others. Judge BeOS on its merits. If it has lacking driver and application support (as it does), point it out. If you think the closed-source nature of the software is a negative, point it out. But at least give BeOS credit for the things it does well.

    I understand the desire to be proud of what Linux has accomplished, especially given the mutually exclusive natures of Linux and the commercial software market - but don't let pride lead to arrogance. Be proud of what you've accomplished, but don't shit on the little people because of it. Arrogance stems from insecurity (example: Microsoft). If you really believe how great Linux is, there's no need to bash the other guy. Let the merits of Linux speak for themselves.

    BeOS may not be Linux, and it probably will never be Linux, but not everything *has* to be Linux.

  • Apparantly you have the vision of a mole?

    #1 I have seen the OS API's for Windows, Linux, and BeOS. There is no comparison: BeOS looks by
    far to be the most elegant design, and from what I've been seeing from other programmers that are writing for it, it is a pure joy. It all boils down to the complete OO design.

    #2 If you think $70 is a ridiculous price for such an elegant OS, you are in the minority. Most people have no problem paying Microsoft $90 and up for a pile of shit OS (and I know, because I have to use it every day!)

    #3 "Mix in an operating system that you have to pay for that relies on third party developers to write software (most of it free) and expect it to make a killing?!? No way."

    Excuse me... you just described Windows and about half a dozen other OS companies that aren't doing so bad.

    Need I say more.

  • A report just came over the Dow newswire that BE did file for an IPO with the SEC. It looks like they will be selling about 57.5 million dollars worth of shares. No underwriter was named or an estimated price.
  • by jnolan ( 20394 )
    bullshit. He said he doesn't intend to do it in the near future. RH would never have scored investments without a forseeable exit strategy, IPO being the most likely.
  • Whether their sales model fits your preferences, or whatever, the BeOS does what it's meant to do: supply scalable low-latency media support. Nothing else does this.

    Quoting from be.com: "...it was designed from the ground up to handle the real-time manipulation of high bandwidth digital media on off-the-shelf personal computers."

    The thing is, Linux (and other free unices) might be very good. However, they're built on a design which is a little on the old side. It was an excellent design, and still is, but anyone who claims that it's the perfect design, and seriously believes that Linux (et al.) will _always_ be the best OS is in cloud-cuckoo land.

    There _are_ better ways of doing things. I've used the BeOS a little (I bought that crippled demo version). From what I can see, they've achieved what they set out to achieve AND MORE. It's not focussed as a server platform, or a general-purpose workstation platform. However, it (will be) bloody good at both of those tasks... it's got the basis for it.

    The one thing I can really criticise them for is not aiming for the general-purpose market, when it's quite clear they could. Maybe they'll do this when they think it can compete. It's still not complete enough for JQPs.

    As far as open-sourcing it goes, I wish they would. However, although I don't agree with them on this point, I can understand their decision. Could you really justify 9 years of coding (and a hell of a lot more man-years) when you're going to open-source it? Yeah, Apple, Microsoft, etc. can, but they have lots of money, and other revenue streams. This is now Be inc.'s only major form of revenue since the BeBox went down. They're just about to IPO. Damn good move financially.

    If/When they actually get round to shifting some serious volume, maybe they can then start doing the sensible thing and open-source it. For now, what would stop anyone (eg. Microsoft) nicking the internal design, and putting some code-monkeys on rewriting every line of code?

    There's some serious IPRs in the BeOS. No other OS is as pervasively multi-threaded. As a result, no other OS can claim such a good performance ratio (relative performance/processor). Until they get some market share, they've got no protection.

    The line "No-one ever got fired for buying the BeOS" hasn't been uttered yet (although it might be true.. virtually no-one HAS bought the BeOS!). Once that's the norm, then if they release the source, people will still buy the BeOS rather than the hypothetically-cloned "Microsoft Windows 2000 Media Edition"... They will have that protection. Some commercial unices currently have that protection. People will still buy them, even though there are cheaper (and free) alternatives. People like Redhat don't _need_ that protection as much, as they haven't made such a massive investment while making little return on that investment.

    One alternative would be huge amounts of patent claims. Scyeah.. I'm sure we'd all *love* that. Anyway, most of the stuff they're doing is prior art. It's just they're doing it a) well, and b) in the right combination.

    Don't slam the guys for trying to stay afloat. I think the BeOS architecturally is/could be the way future OSes are built.

    Re: User Interfaces. Well, unlike Windows, etc, the GUI ain't the only usable interface. You telnet to a BeOS-based machine, and you get 'bash'. It's like IRIX, etc. It's difficult to get rid of the GUI, but the whole machine isn't dependent on the GUI. This way, according to demand, they can easily remove the GUI, or allow it to be switchable. No big deal.

    (yikes.. I didn't *mean* to write that much.. honestly.)
  • Perhaps this cash infusion will be used for a nice propaganda campaign.

    Perhaps this cash infusion will be used to finish the product to the point that it will boot on anything but the most vanilla hardware.

    As desktop OS software goes, I have a certain liking for BeOS -- it's an example of the quality of well-done, cathedral software in much the same way as Linux & BSD are examples of quality bazaar-ish software (although admittedly, the BSD bazaar is fairly small, but that's beside the point here.)

    Of course, the flip side is that BSD and Linux can install on the hardware I use, and BeOS can't (due to its reliance on an ATAPI CD-ROM drive for installation, which I just plain old don't use around here. I'd have to take my masq box down to yank the only ATAPI drive I have.)

    It's a little premature to recommend a propaganda push. Let's see it boot, first.

  • Hi,
    Let's hope that more people show interest in one of the best OSes around.

    Linux and NT are nice Operating Systems, but BeOS is the future (or has at least very cool features). I really like the thread concept it has. And the file system is incredible.

    This OS is really like "Mac on PC" (Bill Gates wanted that too, but we all know what happened ;-)) ...and it has Unix features too!
    The only thing that would be even better would be some Nextstep mixed into it...

    If there will we some apps in near future, I will erase Linux and NT and move to BeOS...well i'll keep my MacOS, though...until Apple gives the G3 code to Be...
  • I can hardly wait to read all of the comments. "BeOS sucks." "BeOS is a crappy OS." "BeOS has no apps." "BeOS isn't open source."

    I can hardly wait to read another gushing fluff-piece that brags about having eight! movies playing at once on the Be desktop. No bashing intended, but a lot of you Be-folk are getting a little hypersensitive. It's just not immediately obvious what the strengths of yet-another-proprietary-OS are (except the eight! movies playing at once, for those with terminal ADD, I suppose).
  • I mean seriously. Modern Operating Systems have things like multitasking, protected memory, and shared code so that you may run different programs at the same time. Now we need an OS for each app, and something like VMWare to mend wounds to the whole operating SYSTEM concept.

    I like choice as much as the rest, but the purist in me says one OS per machine. Or else the benefits of a modern OS are lost.

    --

  • Be is a really elegant OS, without a lot of
    terrible heritage.
    Linux and CE could probably do something like this, but why not BE?
    If the whole point is having a computer based
    solely around internetapplications, you don't
    really need compatibility with loads of applications. You don't need a powerful multiuser
    OS with a buckload of features.
    What you need is a simple elegant solution capable
    of performing excactly the task it is supposed to.
    And I can se BeOS doing excactly that.

    Of course, they have to fix their support for DHCP
    ;-)
  • Err, it's not just the libraries that are multi-threaded, it's the whole OS ! Kernel, filesystems, GUI, etc... there are threads everywhere, even in drivers. Linux is far from that right now.

    Linux has threads in the kernel, GUI, and various programs. Specifically where is it lacking support? Yes, there is room for improvement, but I can't think of any big architectural changes necessary for those improvements.

    Linux does SMP too, but that doesn't mean it really takes advantage of it. You need lots of multithreading in the OS itself to really use SMP. The "SMP capable" doesn't mean "SMP efficient". On Linux you need to thread your app to take advantage of SMP. On BeOS even a non threaded app will take advantage of it because all the system calls (kernel or GUI) go to multithread code.

    Indeed, you need to thread your app to make it SMP efficient as opposed to SMP capable. Unless your application spends all its time in parallelizable system calls, SMP won't help it much unless it's threaded. If you don't write your application to be threaded, you're not going to take much advantage of SMP. Good kernel SMP support takes a lot of time and resources, neither of which Be has had. It's amazing they've done as well as they have.

    Linux is too command-line oriented

    For me, a command line is, for simple tasks, about three times faster than a GUI, and several hundred times faster for complex tasks. However, I can run GNU/Linux without ever touching a command-line if I want. And yes, BeOS can run a command line too, so I don't see what this statement is supposed to establish.

    when Unix was created graphic display was sci-fi, and when XWindows was created digital video was sci-fi too. A real multimedia OS must be built from the start to fit into today hardware (accelerated 2D, 3D, video, etc..), and have all sort of stuff to synchronize and mix audio and video. Linux is rather poor here.

    "When BeOS was created, holographic displays were sci-fi." I suppose when the next newest technology comes out you'll feel the need to write another OS? I'd rather take a solid foundation and build upon it. Linux intentionally doesn't have much graphics support; they decided to put as much as possible in userland, but X that doesn't mean the OS can't synchronize and mix audio and video. Perhaps you can point at some numbers? And don't just say 'BeOS can play eight videos at the same time' because I can do that too with a lowly K6-233 and a crappy video card.

    Not to say that Linux is bad, it's an excellent server OS, makes Apache and Samba rocks, but it's a very poor thing when video and audio. It was just never design to handle that. You can't just add stuff here and there to make it more "multimedia", it just makes the OS more bloated and inefficient.

    Actually, adding it on modularly makes it less bloated, and the efficiency cost isn't that terrible.
  • I can understand you're frustration sometimes, but I must differ when you say that Eric Raymond believes that all non OSS sucks.

    Like yourself he probably gave it a try, and sees that the technology of it is simply amazing. The BeOS is built to do stuff that Linux is not, yet. I don't know if Linux will ever be able to do the Media stuff BeOS can do, or if the BeOS will have the following that Linux does. I can hope for both though.

    For those that believe in OSS as a better way of doing things, they might see it as more of a shame that BeOS is not open-source because they would like to see it succeed, but don't see the future of closed source software.

    Me, I would like Be to succeed, and I will be putting my money into it as soon as I am able. I don't believe all software needs to be open source, as long as the company is open to ideas. There is no company more open to its developers than Be at least not any I have ever worked with. That's enough for me to invest my money and my time.

  • Is there a problem with with dhcp on beos? I've been asking people about dhcp problems in beos for about a million years now and no one seems to know anything about it. Man, please elaborate on this cause I've been running into some serious dhcp problems recently..

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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