The Story of BeOS

By Xah Lee. Date: .

The Story of BeOS

Be Incorporated Logo
Be Incorporated Logo
BeBox 07688
BeBox, ~1996. [image source 2015-05-15 ]

BeOS is founded in 1990 by ex-Apple employee Jean-Louis Gassee, to create a brand new OS with hardware dedicated from the ground up, devoid of legacy baggage. In the 1996 to 1997 Apple exodus, it received great attention from Apple fans, where Apple is bleeding to death and Apple's developers massively flocked into Microsoft Windows or pressingly eyeing for a new love.

The logo with a ambiguous eye/ear is new for Be, when it saw around 2000 that a new operating system has no home in the establishment, and refocused on being a media company selling multi-media appliances. In 2000 March the end of dot-com era, they released their OS “free for personal use” like so many other software houses who saw the threat of GNU/Linux. This is the brink-of-death-struggle. (Like the Open Sourced Netscape) In 2001 Be went belly-up. For technology geeking morons, that's the ultimate token for “To Be or not to Be”.

BeOS is the paradigm of quality. Ultimately it is killed by the supeficiality-mentality of the IT industry fermented from the unix community. The unix virus kills lots of quality things, indirectly and massively, in the past, today, and it will in the future too if we don't realize it.

Here are two essays that compares the technical merits of Mac OS X of 2001 to the wildly acclaimed but ultimately kaput BeOS.

• Scot Hacker is the author of BeOS Bible (1999), and MP3: The Definitive Guide Buy at amazon. He has also written two excellent social commentary on Napster.

Note that the Napster is the first major case of the controversy on digital copyright.

In the computing industry, especially unix community, protocols becoming a standard is not usually caused by technical excellency, but being commonly in use. Those in common use are usually result of being free or non-proprietary, which more often than not are technically poor.

The Unix Pestilence