Feeds

Be moves to quell ‘speculation and misinformation’

We're still here

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Be co-founder and COO Steve Sakoman says he was moved by "speculation and misinformation" to issue an open letter yesterday about the future of the desktop OS.

Sakoman gave little away in the form of news, the bigger news was that Be was seen to be doing something about it's former flagship, BeOS.

Since January, Be has effectively cut BeOS loose as a revenue stream, instead concentrating on licensing BeIA for embedded devices - with what appears to be increasing success. However, by describing BeOS merely as their "internal development platform" - it's disties, such as Gobe in the US and Koch in the UK, who do the actual marketing - the temperature of the big ISVs has cooled, with Steinberg and E-Magic among the most prominent refuseniks.

Day release

Sakoman said that the Opera browser for BeIA was almost complete, and the BeOS version would follow. The Personal Java port for the appliance was finished, but Java2 Standard Edition would be completed "over the next few months".

Without the two, newbie users to the OS can't do what they're used to doing on Windows - online banking say, or Hotmail. And that makes any new OEM bundling initiatives - which we understand are on ice given the six-month delay in behaviour remedies in the Antitrust case - much more of a hard sell.

Sakoman added that the BeOS basic media and networking services were getting an overhaul, the emphasis on the former we read as an flag to the big comtent creation ISVs that Be hasn't been neglecting the full OS completely. ISVs can bundle BeOS alongside their applications, as a kind of runtime environment. For those of you with long memories, that's how most copies of pre-version 3.0 Windows were distributed, as enablers for the likes of PageMaker or Ami.

Commitment, commitment

We lobbed a few questions at Steve ourselves, and he played them with an impeccably straight bat. He'd love to see Steinberg and E-Magic write applications for BeOS, but he couldn't comment on their current relationships. As for supporting the ever proliferating number of PC chipsets, no, Be couldn't guarantee near compatibility with all of them (those were our words) while pointing out that it had never really made that kind of commitment before. But it would try.

Be has sewn up respective deals to provide local RF and WAN wireless networking for BeIA appliances, and we wondered if some kind of CDMA/GSM partnership was in the offing, one that could see BeIA in devices like Symbian's Quartz or Crystal communicators? He wouldn't say either way.

It's far from impossible: remember that Nokia's 9000 - which created this category of kind of combined device is an x86 compatible machine, running an AMD 486. But BeIA's screen requirements might need some more tweaks to get there.

Sakoman described the BeIA for home hi-fi and video equipment Aura as a reference platform "without one design", so consumer device manufacturers can take what bits they want. So was Be talking to Sony? No comment. Well, we did ask... ®

Related Stories

Be appliances go wireless walkabout
BeOS goes mobile, announces Gassée (we think)
MS can control prices because it's 'the only game in town' - expert

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.