Community Page - BeOS Living
BeOS was initially
developed for software and computer engineers to toy with. It
was designed for an eventual end-user, but it didn't work out
for Be. Between being passed over by Apple and the company's
debts, BeOS never managed to find a niche.
Today, there are essentially two variations of BeOS in use. The
first of these is the modern iteration of BeIA, the BeOS for
Internet Applications. This version of BeOS came about when Be
was bought by Palm, as a last-ditch effort to gain some kind of
market relevance. BeIA continued in the form of Zeta, another OS
built on the BeOS framework. BeIA and Zeta continue to run
several Internet appliances, such as:
•Roland Corporation's TuneTracker radio software and Edirol DV-7
•The Tascam SX-1 audio recorder
•iZ Technology's Radar 24 and Radar V audio recorders
•The Aavelin line of digital signs produced by Magicbox
The second variation of BeOS is, technically, not BeOS at all.
BeOS is not an open-source operating system. This meant that
when Be faltered and fell, dedicated fans could not take up the
code and continue work. Instead, numerous projects rose trying
to adapt and reverse-engineer the BeOS code. The majority of
these projects have fallen out of favor and are no longer worked
on or supported. The one exception to this rule is the Haiku
In 2001, when Be and the copyrights to BeOS were bought by palm,
Michael Phipps founded the OpenBeOS Project. The goal of the
project was to continue with BeOS support by making a new
version of BeOS that was open source and backwards compatible.
Phipps registered Haiku Inc. as a non-profit to support the
project, partly when rights to the BeOS name could not be
In this way, BeOS has lived on with its dedicated community.
BeOS lives on through the complete backwards compatibility of
Haiku. Haiku only supports the version of BeOS that worked with
Intel x86 processors, however, which means that older BeOS
versions running on PowerPC chips have compatibility issues.
Haiku benefits from this arrangement by being able to
immediately compile and run BeOS applications without need to
Haiku continues to receive dedicated attention as a stand-alone
OS. It has many of the same features that BeOS was acclaimed
for, including a relative lack of bugs and a high level of
responsiveness. The clean, uncluttered design draws people to it
as a secondary OS, though it is still something of a niche
compared to giants like Apple's OS line, Microsoft's Windows
line and the various distributions of Linux.
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