BeOS has been reborn a number of times, often without significant success but things are looking up. Starting in 1991 with the production of an all-in-one hardware/software home multimedia computer (the BeBox, the first of which was available to the public in 1994), the possible purchase by Apple was at the height of success for BeOS (instead Apple chose to buy NeXT in 1996), and the low point of being when BeOS was bought by Palm for $11 million in 2001, where it became part of the Palm OS Cobalt that nobody wanted. In 2002, news of BeOS' rebirth as yellowTAB came out, with another shift as yellowTAB became magnussoft ZETA, which finally folded in 2007, as their figures were far below expectations. From here, fans and enthusiasts took over, with a number of attempts to re-create BeOS from scratch. Most failed, but Haiku (previously) has survived, and today they announced that the first alpha version of the Haiku operating system is available for download (direct download or through torrent), and a preliminary review sounds positive. [more inside]
BeOS is back! Immortalised by Neal Stephenson as the Batmobile of operating systems, it's been reincarnated as Haiku :P
BeOS 5 will be free for download later this quarter. Smart move. I can't wait to try it out.
Now that Sun's Solaris 8 OS is going to be free, and the BeOS too, I wonder if it's too little, too late. Will we see jumps in their respective shares of the OS market? Or is this a last ditch attempt to compete with Linux?
Ever noticed that the also-rans who have yet to be acquired by one of their peers seem to glom together like cornmeal in water? Take a look at who Be is partnering with for their Stinger internet appliance software: Bitstream - clearly a runner-up to Adobe in the typeface technology department; and Opera - who are trying desperately to be the alternative browser of choice. Who's next? Corel, and their latest BeOS port of WordPerfect?