Feeds

BeOS: the Mac OS X might-have-been

The multimedia OS that debuted years before Vista

3 Big data security analytics techniques

BeOS development continued and further Developer and, later, Preview releases were made before the 1998 debut of Release 3, the first 'finished' version. Incidentally, Release 3 was also made available for machines based on Intel processors, not just PowerPC systems.

beos operating system screenshot

I first tried BeOS in earnest in late 1998 after Release 4 shipped, running it on an old Power Mac 8500. However, the development of Apple's hardware under now-returned Steve Jobs made it progressively harder to run the BeOS on new Macs, a situation that accompanied and may even have inspired Be to focus more on the Intel version of its operating system.

Indeed, the 2001 Release 5.1 was an Intel-only affair. How soon before Apple goes the same way?

Adoption of the BeOS on Intel was hindered by the much greater range of hardware components the system software needed to support than was the case with the more tightly controlled Mac hardware environment. But BeOS' shift to Intel coincided with the emergence of Linux as an alternative to Windows, and coders favoured the open source product over the closed product put out by the commercially minded Be.

sony evilla beos-based applianceBe tried to make the BeOS work better alongside Windows, but it never succeeded in winning over users in any significant numbers. A brief foray into the embedded arena, a bid to leverage all the analyst talk at that time of the post-PC era - still hasn't happened yet, guys - and how we'd all be accessing the internet on appliances designed for the purpose.

BeOS for Internet Appliances found a home in Sony's short-lived eVilla appliance, but again many developers of such systems inevitably gravitated toward the better known Linux.

In 2001, Be called it a day and sold the BeOS to Palm. BeOS coders used their experience to help evolve the Palm OS to become more media-friendly. Palm did allow German developer YellowTab to gain access to the BeOS source code, used to spin Zeta, a version of the BeOS in all but name. YellowTab collapsed in 2006 and Zeta was taken on by another German company, Magnussoft.

Meanwhile, a number of BeOS fans attempted to recreate the operating system from scratch, calling their work OpenBeOS and, later, Haiku. It's hoped that one day Haiku will reach the stage where it's entirely compatible with BeOS Release 5. There's still some way to go, however.

More Forgotten Tech...
15 years ago: the first mass-produced GSM phone
Compact Disc: 25 years old today
From 1981: the World's first UMPC
The IBM ThinkPad: 15 years old today
Apple's first handheld: the Newton MessagePad
Atari's Portfolio: the world's first palmtop
'Timna' - Intel's first system-on-a-chip
Sony's first Mylo

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.