Web site: www.be.com (not active)
Desktop environment: Tracker
Based on: Independent
The last version | Released: 5.0.3 | August 9, 2000
BeOS – an operating system for personal computers first developed by Be Inc. in 1991. Be was founded by former Apple Computer executive Jean-Louis Gassée for its own type of computer, the BeBox.
Originally BeOS was designed for a custom computer system known as the BeBox that had special multimedia input/output features, and was later ported to the Macintosh, and finally ported to the PC.
BeOS was written from scratch and does not contain obsolete operating system design concepts. Designed as a single user operating system BeOS unfolds his optimal efficiency on multi-processor systems with several parallel running programs through it modern multi-thread based structure. BeOS basically does not run other applications that are not developed for this operating system. This operating system is only available in English, French and Japanese languages.
This version of BeOS is the Personal Edition, which can be downloaded freely from the Internet and installed under Windows. Under Windows 95 and Windows 98 you can just double click an icon to exit Windows and start this version of BeOS. On ME or NT 4 or later you can use a boot floppy to start the installed BeOS.
In 2001 Be’s copyrights were sold to Palm, Inc. BeOS R5 is considered the last official version, but BeOS R5.1 “Dano”, which was under development before Be’s sale to Palm and included the BeOS Networking Environment (BONE) networking stack, was leaked to the public shortly after the company’s demise … In September 2005, ACCESS CO Ltd. acquired PalmSource, the owner of the Palm OS and BeOS.
OpenBeOS (OBOS) has been founded in 2001 as the official successor of BeOS as open source project. Since 2004, the operating system is continued under the name Haiku.
Be Inc. released some components of BeOS under a free licence, so there are a few BeOS clones available, such as: Zeta (commercial distribution), BlueEyedOS, eB-OS (Extender Beos Operating System), Cosmoe.