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The Be Challenge: Zero-cost BeOS for OEMs

sengan posted more than 15 years ago | from the wonder-how-Microsoft-will-respond dept.

Be 171

Thorbjorn Jemander wrote in (as an update on a previous story) to tell us that Jean-Louis Gassée, CEO of Be Inc is offering BeOS at zero-cost to any OEM that will install BeOS completely on its PCs: BeOS must be a boot option or launchable from the other OS, something that Microsoft apparently prohibits. He does not expect OEMs will take up the offer because they will not want to lose Microsoft's Windows Rebate. His argument also applies to Linux: Despite the slew of announcements that Tier-1 manufacturers were going to sell computers pre-installed with Linux, it's revealing to see that the computers discussed were either servers, or in the case of IBM, PCs on which Linux is installed by the reseller (not IBM). also reported on this Thomas wonders if this offer will provide the DOJ with unrefutable proof of Microsoft's monopoly.

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What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002549)

I thought Be wasn't competing with Windows?
Marketing (opportunist) asswipes :)

Be should thank Linux for creating the nice big spotlight on alternative OSes (and contribute back to the community in some way!)

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002550)

I believe that Be pays Cygnus to work on gcc and that they often help developers who are writing open source software, including kicking in money and engineering time on projects they think are good ones.

What's wrong with Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002551)

yeah and don't forget, it also does Windows too

I thought Be OS was still prerelease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002552)

I thought it was still only for developers. What gives? Are they just trying to make a buck?

EGCS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002553)

Be's changes to egcs are scheduled to go back into egcs RSN, according to something I read somewhere.

What's wrong with Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002554)

Even VA has its problems. As far as I can tell from their website, they don't allow the choice of anything but Redhat or SuSE... Kind of ironic (moronic?) since they sell up to the huge server boxes, and Redhat isn't really suitable for that area when compared to more technically sound distros such as Debian.

Show 'em E with transparent Eterms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002555)

Every time I show a windows user E and its transparent Eterms, they invariably want to know how to get it. Not only is Linux the most stable OS on the Intel platform, it can also be the most visually pleasant.

I thought Be OS was still prerelease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002556)

BeOS has been a fairly retail-quality program since at least R3 (anyone know when it was released?). I jumped in on the bandwagon at R4 in December.

My installation experience was nothing but positive. It took 15 minutes altogether to install and I didn't have to do anything to configure my hardware. The interface is clean and responsive. You can use the terminal or rely almost 100% on the GUI.

At this point, it's important for some "killer apps" to be ported to BeOS to get the general public's attention. BeOS has a POSIX layer that makes it easy to port Linux apps over. If this is possible I would pay real $$ to see a the Linux versions of Wordperfect and Star Office ported to BeOS.

JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002557)

You don't see RMS, ESR, Bruce Perens, and all the other Linux chumps trying to do even one _tenth_ of what Jean-Louis Gassee is doing. They're too busy bickering amongst themselves and dressing up like their favorite Star Wars characters to do any real business.

Go Be!

BeOS Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002558)

It uses BFS (guess what that stands for), which is a 64-bit journaling file system. It allows for advanced filekeeping and searching. Individual files can be as large as a terabyte, which is critical if you are into digital audio/video editing.

A read-only ext2 driver just came out. It's in the BeWare section of I heard there might be a BFS driver for Linux, as well. For those of us transitioning from M$, BeOS can read/write FAT16 and FAT32 partitions.

BeOS Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002559)

See: l

There's currently a beta-level add-on for ext2 support to allow access to Linux partitions from within Be. Not sure if any work is being done to support seeing Be partitions from within Linux.

Developing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002560)

Hello, this is a bit off topic... but does anyone recommend any good programming environments on Be?

JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002561)

Huh? Don't forget Be is relying on stuff that RMS started (GNU tools) so stop that sillyness.

What's wrong with Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002562)


OS/2 fanatics never die... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002563)

I used to be a rabid(zealot, psycho, etc) pro-OS/2 user, and I would agree that OS/2 had a lot of nice things going for it in its time, much like the Amiga did in '86. Unfortunately unless IBM was to release a useable amount of it's source code, there is no way in hell I would go back to the closed source model of operating systems. I don't know how people can stick to it even though IBM has been tooling them around like a dead limb for so many years now.

I used to work at IBM as a student, and nearing the time that I left, I learned it was time to get out of OS/2 simply because people were actually looking DOWN on me for being an OS/2 guru. These days, being a Linux guru gets a person a lot more respect, even at IBM, apparently.

Linux may not be perfect, but it is by far the most long term viable alternative to the stagnant Windows hedgemony.

Shhhht! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002564)

Damned guy! You spoil the fun!


How many times do we need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002565)

say the same thing. I appreciate all the feedback that you are giving this guy, but how many times do we need to say the same thing???

not Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002566)

There's a big difference, in both cost to Be and success of the user, between giving the OS for free to an OEM who can make sure that all of the components are compatible and properly partition the drive so that the user can immediately be productive. Just imagine the bad PR if Be offered a freely downloadable version and was then criticized by users who accidently fdisked their whole drive or spent hours downloading it and then couldn't get it to work.

Not a question of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002567)

RMS is not out to solve business problems, so this comment doesn't apply to him.

ESR is out to solve business problems, but by explaining the strengths of Linux, not the failings of MS (or even less relevantly: the OEMs).

BP is not someone about whom categorical statements can be made (to say the least).

Re: GO BE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002568)

Well, Apple wants the digital video market... Firewire everywhere... they bought Final Cut from Macromedia... and BeOS is just competing on the same market, so they just want Be to go away, at least from the Mac platform.

OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002569)

IBM used to ship all their computer with OS/2 Warp as a boot option and Windows as the primary OS. I didn't think Microsoft ever said anything to IBM about that. (Of course this was back in the days of Windows 3.1 circa 1994). Why would a BeOS boot option be any different? Besides everyone knows BeOS is highly supperior to any Microsoft OS.

BePC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002570)

Why doesn't Be just build their own PCs and start their own mail-order company? The implicit idea behind Gassee's offer is reliance upon Microsoft's domination of having its OS pre-installed on PCs. If he is so sure that people will use his OS if it is installed on the computer why doesn't he just do it himself? _That_ would be head-to-head

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002571)

IMHO BeOS has potental to be the best OS ever! It's incredbly fast. (Anything is faster than OS/2 of course). It boots in a matter of a couple seconds. It has a great GUI. It is incredibly easy to use, yet incredibly powerful at the same time. Installation consists of clicking the "install" button. And its multiplatform (well... dual platform at least). I think BeOS could become the OS of the future. It simply needs more hardware support, and more companies backing it and developing software.

BePC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002572)

Why should Be do it when BeMachines [] already does that? They even sell Dual Celeron systems!

Okay. :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002573)

Hmm. Abou any *decent* OS can read FAT ;-)

Well, Be is a decent OS. There you have it. :)

It does most of what you expect of a "decent OS": Crashy applications don't hurt it, it's got a nice command-line shell (bash), etc. It's still single user, of course, but there's no sane reason to use anything but Linux for a server anyway (not counting scary 64-processor boxes or whatever) so, uh, so what :) It's nice.

What's wrong with Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002574)

> It even does Windows.

But not very well.

It's racketeering, not monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002575)

As shown in this article, MS's practices consist of criminal racketeering. This kind of restraint of trade (with real or implied threats) is the real issue, not whether or not Microsoft has leveraged a monopoly in one area to expand its hold on another.

The solution is to boycott MS. What does it take to build a PC these days? Be and Linux distributors should be building their own cheaper PC's for home users and selling them mail order, and offering franchises for local stores worldwide. VA systems, etc., don't cut it. Their boxes are too expensive and noncompetetive. A home users needs even LESS hardware, not more, to get decent performance with Linux (or BEOS) relative to Windows 9x or NT.

If you can't get Linux preinstalled from the likes of Gateway, Dell and Compaq screw them. After a while, with the help of action by the courts, they may defy the MS racketeering, industrial sabatoge, and domestic terrorism, which is what it is. Microsoft is a criminal enterprise - not a legitmate corporation. Gate and other top MS players belong in maximum security prisons with hardened crimimals, and I mean that, because they are felons.

Industrial sabatoge is a serious crime. In the case of MS it consists of doing things to make a competitor's applications not work so well with Windows. That's just like making a competitor's brakes or seat belts not work so well on an automobile. Many systems in which life and property are at risk are affected by this intentional sabatoge. In some countries such activity carries the death penalty. Extradation of Gates, Balmer, and co. to nations which can prove industrial sabotage to stand trial there would not be uncalled for. What if your nuclear power plant used MS software for control systems?

Again, this has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with old fashioned gangsterism ala Al Capone. I don't expect Linux whimps to understand this, but nevertheless it's time to call a spade a spade and quit farting around with MS.

Just my 2 million dollars worth.

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002576)

They don't know better because they have never SEEN better. They have no exposure to it.

The OEM's don't ship ONLY windows because they don't think they have a market for it.. they reject other OS's because they FEAR MICROSOFT REPRECUSSIONS. That, in and of itself, is the problem.

There was a day when MS didn't control the PC industry, albeit that the industry was much smaller, and that compute rmanufacturers would put different OS on different machines... (usually because they made them.). But people would still try them out....

If the customers don't want it, they don't have to use it. if it's free, it's free. If it's pre-installed, it's pre-installe

BeOS Filesystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002577)

You mean like NT4, which still can't read

-Dave, too lazy to log in

I thought Be OS was still prerelease - No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002578)

As of R4, it is an official release for Intel.

How can they "make a buck" by offering it for free? Most updates
wont cost a penny. Major updates are only $25 at most.

Of course Linux reads BFS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002579)

I have a copy of the driver. I downloaded it
from Japan. It was announced on the linux-kernel
mailing list a week ago.

BePC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002580)


Because they would then be competing with Compaq, Dell, Gateway etc etc. They make an _operating system_ and would get crushed (in fact they did) if they tried to push into an area with real, fierce competition and very, very small margins.

- N

I Just Installed Be Today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002581)

From what I've seen so far it's a very nice OS. However it's definitly not yet ready for prime-time; It has a number of quirks, nowhere near enough drivers, nowhere near enough apps.

I sincerely hope Be makes it big, of all the PC/Mac OSes out there it shows the most promise (yes, more than Linux). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002582)

Not that i defend NT much, but it supports 8 without extra help, and up to 32 if you have someone insane enough to modify the kernel, and build 19 cd's of source.

Be, Schmee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002583)

One proprietary OS is like another.

I predict Be won't release their sources
because the quality (or lack thereof) is too
embarrassing -- just like Apple.

proprietary cool Free.

Be, Schmee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002584)

One proprietary OS is like another.

I predict Be won't release their sources
because the quality (or lack thereof) is too
embarrassing -- just like Apple.

proprietary < cool < Free.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002585)

You are so off base its not even funny. No JLG doesn't think any OEM is going to take him up on it. Microsoft has a monopoly and until the trial is over and OEMs are protected somehow no one could afford the price of offending MS.

On the other hand, if someone mid-large size like say Micron did take him up on the offer, Be would be elated, hire the staff for support and be dancing in the street. People who need support are using the OS and will upgrade. Every user who calls trying to get their modem will probably upgrade at some point and send Be money. Its a no brainer and lots of companies do it. Its part of the reason software bundles are so much cheaper when you buy a machine. The author is gambling that by getting the software in front of you that you will use it, like it (or get locked in) and upgrade.

- N

not Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002586)

Since when is it free to download Linux? Most people have to pay ISP charges, many have to even pay phone charges. Even if you argue that they just do overnight and it is essentially free, they still have to _install_ it which takes time, which is directly equal to money.

If everyone was willing to download and install their own OS (kind of a chicken and an egg problem wouldn't you say?) they'd also be willing to take the time to put together their own machines and there wouldn't be Dell, Compaq or Gateway.

As for Solaris - it just proves the point. The free x86 version has really lousy hardware support and _everyone_ I know who has gotton a copy has been dissatisfied. Did they go out and buy new hardware? No, they went with Linux, SCO or NT. It was probably a very bad move for Sun.

- N

Be, Schmee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002587)

Or maybe just like Sun they will.


Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002588)

You Linux people just don't know when to shut up, do you? God you can be so annoying. It does not have to be open source and free to be good. Get that through you thick skull. I don't use Linux, and I've though many times about it, and I've even got pretty close, but every time I hear someone say this, I just think: "Linux probably isn't even that great, it's just evangelized by a bunch of fanatics who love the open-source concept above all else."

Maybe you like open-source, but I don't think it matters that much, especially for the average person who won't be donwloading an OS update every week.

If you have a good reason why the BeOS sucks, tell me, if not, don't say anything. Right now I haven't tried either Linux or Be, but I'm really leaning toward Be after this crap.

BeOS required to boot up first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002589)

Just got back from the BeOS demo at Menlo Park,
talked to JudeAnn Smith, their "Developer Evangelist". They are giving away BeOS for free, but it has to be the OS that pops on your screen when turn on the pc for the first time. And a lot of OEMs can't do that because of their contracts with Micro$oft.
Anyway, it's just amazing how BeOS can handle media. It can handle realtime audio and still play back a couple of movie files while other movies are actually displayed on flipping pages. So if you are interrested in media - check it out !

Be, Schmee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002590)

"those who do not learn from unix are doomed
to reinvent it" - confucious

Dumbass: no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002591)

Actually Sengan changed the story. So this poster made a good point. But it's good Sengan changed the story to avoid further confusion.

not Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002592)

I'm sure JLG intends to have users pay for upgrades, but the first copy bundled with a PC he is willing to give away.

I believe that he JLG would be very happy to give it away if it offered all of the buyers of a major computer the chance to try or request BeOS. No cost for users the first time, and then they decide if an upgrade is worth paying for. Sounds fair to me.

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002593)

I used to like OS/2, but after getting used to nice long file named singly rooted hierarchical file systems under Solaris and Linux, it just seems a little backwards. That and how the system becomes unusable when the GUI crashes, and the single-user-ness of the console. OS/2 and Be would probably still be decent for a home system, but multiuser networking facilities of UNIX and X sure are nice on a big (university, laboratory, or corporate) campus.

Only one problem with their "proof" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2002594)

Of course you are correct in your assessment of the "proof". However, there is one additional matter in that Microsoft has pointed out during the trial that Be is one of the possible alternative OS threats (phantom menance?) to Windows/NT. If nobody bites on Be's offer, then it just shows feeble MS's arguments are.

Having a Monopoly is not prima fascia evidence ... (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002649)

of a trust or illegal business practices.

The anti-trust laws make it illegal to use that monopoly to stifle competition.

How do you make the OEM's admit they are subject to strong arm tactics? Not using an operating system with a small percentage of the OS market could be attributed to the chicken and egg problem. That is, which comes first - it took a long time for CD-ROMs to become "standard" equipment. Anyone remember the Year of the LAN that was predicted so often it happened before it was recognized.

This is the sort of argument that MS or the OEM's would make, and it contains some truth. Moreover, the descriptions of the Law as the search for the truth has never been in a courtroom or take too many political speeches at face value. Given the right mindset, an actual case is better than standup comedy.

Yes to those convinced of illegal dealings and skull duggery it's obvious , but it's not legal certainty.

re: free license (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002653)

Posted by stodge:

And why the hell not?! It would be like a kick in Microsofts' knackers if a large OEM accepted this offer. But I but noone does - I believe that MS has the OEMs by the short and curlies with the licensing. Shame they cant publish the different deals offered to each OEM. That would make for one hell of an interesting read. I bet they used to sell Windows licenses to Gateway for a buck each.

Did anyone read the link from BE's page to Pathfinder? I loved the diary of the trial they had. It was so funny.

Re: GO BE! (1)

jpatters (883) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002656)

I am getting sick and tired about hearing how evil Apple has been to Be regarding the G3 specs. There are two open source OS's that run on Apple's G3's which Be could derive the required specs from. JLG is just pissed off that Apple won't bend over backwards to help him compete with them.

the diary (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002657)

I'd read it earlier this week, or last week. Laughed my ass off. It was soooo good. Best coverage I've seen yet.

hah (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002658)

Now if they could only get them to put out a product that was worth $50 they would have a good deal on their hands. :)

Only one problem with their "proof" (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002659)

Valid points.

The real proof which bypasses any excuses of support cost is that you can't get the computer with NO OS at all. No OS = no license costs and no OS support costs, but they won't (can't) do it.

The BeOS offer is still a good thing since it calls public attention to the whole issue.

Show 'em E with transparent Eterms (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002661)

A transparent Eterm doesn't STOP and of the rest of the nice GUI goodies. Even without GNOME or KDE, just about anything outside of root admin can be done in the total absense of xterms.

Only one problem with their "proof" (1)

Derek (1525) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002662)

First let me say that I own a copy of the BeOS and enjoy it immensly. I am NOT trying to slam Be.

With that said, I feel there is a problem with Gasse's "proof". If vendors do not take him up on his offer to pre-install the BeOS free on their machine it does NOT PROVE THAT MS HAS A STANGLEHOLD MONOPOLY. The reasons is simple.
1) BeOS is still coming up to speed. It wasn't until the release of rev 4 a few months ago that Be even supported SCSI. Many still don't have drivers. Much of the OS is still under development. This is not the sort of thing that I would feel confident putting on machines that I sold. (P.S. To its credit I've never seen the BeOS crash!)

2) It takes more than just software.Sales, support, training, infrastructures, etc... all need to get up to speed if a company were to offer the BeOS on machines. Even if it is completely unsupported, it still takes time and energy to sell it with the right hardware and to put it on the drive.

I feel these are two perfectly logical reasons for not taking Gasse up on his offer. I know that these aren't the only reasons, and that the single biggest reason is probably MS fear, but I AM saying that there are other reasons not to run right out and adopt the BeOS.

Even though I don't think this will "prove" anything, I hope this stunt brings attention to MicroSloths unfair business techniques. I hope that vendors take it serious and begin offering the BeOS. I hope to see fair OS competition in my lifetime. Until then, way to Be!


And another thing... (1)

Matts (1628) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002663)

Be isn't going to make their OS free forever - no OEM is going to start shipping the OS for free if at any point in time that free offer could be pulled out from under them, just as they get a few orders in for it. It's a publicity stunt, and it looks great until you dig a little deaper.

IBM doesn't consider OS/2 to be competiting either (1)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002664)

Officially, IBM doesn't consider OS/2 to be competition to Windows either. Well, on the client side at least. Of course, everyone ELSE thinks that OS/2 is competing against Windows.

Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi,,

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (1)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002665)

Sorry people, but as "great" as Linux and BeOS are (frankly, I think OS/2 is better than both of them combined), the customers don't really want it. The average computer user doesn't know any better.

Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi,,

A free OS means nothing if support costs too much (1)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002666)

The cost of the OS is insignifcant compare the cost of supporting it. If an OEM wanted to pre-install BeOS, they would have to support it as well as they support Windows. That means hiring or training people, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi,,

"COE with balls!!" (1)

Eric E. Coe (2252) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002667)

He's no relation of mine, sorry to say.

Show 'em E with transparent Eterms (1)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002668)

That's the problem with Linux for me. You can have a striking terminal using transparency, OpenGL or whatever, but you still have to use the somewhat cryptic Unix commands. Using a desktop environment like KDE and Gnome sure helps, but it doesn't even scratch at the OS/2 WPS ease-of-use, extentiability and pure brute force. Linux makes a great server (install, configure, let it run five years, compile new kernel, reboot). However, I will not replace my OS/2 Warp system until there is something better than WPS in existance.

Re: GO BE! (1)

perfecto (2989) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002670)

ummmmm... be doesnt want to use those because those are reverse engineered and they can change at a whim. apple is stupid for not releasing the g3 specs. with regards to this aspect they are shooting themselves in the foot,

"The lie, Mr. Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths."

MS shouldn't have mentioned Be in the DOJ trial... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002671)

I was afraid it was a mistake, not as severe as the Linux as a "competitor" defense- but a mistake just the same.

Now, I know better- it was as gigantic a mistake on MS' part bringing Gassee's company into the picture as a "competitor". Whomever said Gassee was from the "scorched earth" school of business wasn't kidding.

Look at it this way... (1)

planet_hoth (3049) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002672)

Just because the mythical "average consumer" didn't want OS/2, doesn't mean they don't want Linux or Be. ;)

Big thing overlooked (1)

LrdNomad (3280) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002673)

IMHO one of the biggest problems being overlooked by everyone is the simple variable of the common consumer.

Even if Joe Blow has an option to get a machine with any OS he wants, he still MUST weigh application availability.

The common consumer will be looking at what is available to him/her in the market. Sadly you can go anywhere and all you will find is M$ compatiable software.

Yes, yes, I know you can get other applications, but finding them is not all that easy AND you still have to wait for them in the mail.

Most users will prefer to go to the store and buy it. That is because that will allow them to enjoy their purchase NOW. It's the state of our society. We have all gorwn up getting things NOW. Not later.

Even downloading is becoming more and more popular, because you can get it now.

When places like and amongst many start offering software for other OS's besides MAC and M$ as the majority, you won't find people rushing to a different OS.

Also, the commmon user will looking at their current investment of software. When you spend 50.00-over 100.00 for software you are more and more reluctant to go and purchase another 100.00 software that they need to relearn how to use.

When WINE is stable and truely does what they're shooting for, then you will see more people wanting something different and more willing to change.

(I hate MS but it pays my bills.)

What isn't wrong with Windows? (1)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002674)

  • It's inconsistant in it's user interface
  • it's slow
  • wastes disk space
  • it's a hack ontop of hacks (ie: FAT32)
  • unreliable (frequent crashes)
  • it's made by microsoft

BeOS Filesystem (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002676)

fs is BFS, a powerful 64bit file system journalize

yes BeOS can read ext2 (beta, read only)

i think a geek has written a BFS driver for linux (alpha, read only)


What? (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002677)

Be isn't looking to supplant Windows. Their goal is peaceful coexistance. If you re-read the story, you will see that they want to be dual-booted or launched from an icon on the Windows desktop. This is in-line with their goal of building a specialized multimedia OS, complementing the general purpose Windows.

And as for Be thanking Linux: For what? Linux inherited the alt-OS-du-jour crown from OS/2, who inherited it from DR-DOS. Linux and BeOS are just lucky enough to be around at a time when traditional media outlets consider computer stories newsworthy.

Keith Russell

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (1)

piggy (5857) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002679)

I want it (Linux | BeOS). I's be willing to buy it. I'm a customer.

There is no "average computer customer." It all depends on the market. The development market differs from the web design market differs from the server market differs from the game market differs from the office drone market differs from... well, you get the point.

If there are enough people out there who would buy a product, then there is a market for a product. The "average computer user" IN THAT MARKET has plenty of demand for the product. Is the market large enough to make a profit?

Just judging from the traffic at this site and many sites dedicated to "niche" OSs and applications, I think that there is a significant market for Linux and BeOS and most of the other products which the "average computer user" has no need for.

To paraphrase what you said, not every single customer wants Linux or BeOS. Who cares, as long as many customers DO want them?

Russell Ahrens

Great PR; Linux defence will come back to haunt MS (1)

Nemesys (6004) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002680)

This is a good move by Gassée.

It threatens to get more people using his company's product and Linux, and will provide evidence to rebut Microsoft's suicidal Linux defence.

Bullshit (1)

fizzboy (6686) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002681)

Actually, they used to give the entire OS away for free (or nearly so). I got the full PR1 CD in a magazine. As a developer, you get free updates and at the time, anyone could sign up to be a developer for free. Truly, such a thing isn't very economical in the long run but it did get them a bunch of customers, many of whom are still loyal customers.

Either way, you do have a point. Be wins this way in terms of publicity. You've got to be arrogant in today's computer industry to stay alive.

What's wrong with Windows? (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002683)

Duck for cover! It's another masquerading annon coward!

Only one problem with their "proof" (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002684)

I had this keyboard problem! Had to change motherboard :( but it was definitely worth it :)

JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002685)

Now all we need is Oracle for Be and we can sit back and yell MAWHUHAHAHAHHAHA (excuse my quirky sexual fantasies)

JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002686)

Well... in my Ideal World (tm), you'd have Be [] as the standard client OS and Linux as the server. I'll never own a Mac, but I do think that they, like Playstations and PDAs have a place in the market. It's similar with Be. What's *wonderful* about it is that it bridges a lot of the gap between a good consumer OS (as the Mac is, you have to give it that) and one capable of doing groovy stuff.

I really don't think that linux does that in quite the same way. Which is good, because that's what makes linux kick arse in the server area. It's unstoppable.

Bullshit (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002687)

It's not a cheap publicity stunt: MS is trying to use Be to get it out of trouble in court, and Be is retaliatin by saying "Hey there! People won't be able to bundle our OS even if we give it away!"

Be is the winner, and its a balsy move from Gassee.

Developing. (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002688)

Yeah, vi :)

Seriously, if you're still using R3, you probably don't have much in the way of good stuff installed as standard. But the Codewarrior that comes with R4 is pretty good. I've found it a quite different approach to many packages (such as Visual C++), in some ways, yet it's just as good (just... different)

I've read lots saying that Pe is good also. But you can't get it for R4 intel which is what I have :( (1)

The OPTiCIAN (8190) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002689)

Not true. You can buy licences of NT which support > 2 processors.

Naturally you have to pay a hefty surplus, no doubt to cover the extensive programming, sweat and tears that have made it happen >.|

Um, no. (1)

prok (8502) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002690)

BeOS left the "developers only" scene in July of '97.

You can buy a cheap linux box (1)

elflord (9269) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002691)

There are several places that will sell you a low cost linux box. For example, sunset systems, TCU-inc, OEMcomputers. See The LDP hardware page [] for a list of vendors that will preload linux. Some of them have good prices.
Donovan Rebbechi

It's all about the customers, not the OEM's (1)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002692)

How do you know you dont want something which you cant get, and havnt ever seen before? If everyone out there is competing on a level playing field, and customers knowingly choose MS Windows over other products, thats just fine, but the fact is, the playing field is severely skewed, due to MS's unfair business practicies. Personaly, I think this system (laizzes-faire capitalism) tends to create these kind of situations (monopoly). It might be that at one time, users actually chose MS products over others, this should not be a certificiate for MS to block the entire market from competitors. They are the quintessential bully, and when they get dragged into court, they say the things any bully says - "But we're just a small company", "we need to protect ourselves", etc. Sometimes when my Word tables fuck up on me (yes I use word.. I cant not use it), I feel like punching bill gates in the mouth, and say to him, "Why the fuck does your wordprocessor suck and change formatting on me when I dont want it to?". Shit, I'm rambling...


./ copies self... (0)

Lucky (12407) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002693)

See the URL: .shtml

I didn't want DOS back in the 80's... (1)

Soulfry (12966) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002694)

I didn't want to run DOS in the 80's, but I didn't have an alternative (and didn't know about the Mac), so I got an 8086 with DOS. That's part of the problem today - consumers don't know alternatives exist because Microsoft won't let OEM's provide alternatives (apparently).

But say Gateway advertised their boxes with Windows 95 and BeOS as OS options. As a typical consumer, I'd be like, "What's this BeOS thing?" Maybe I'd do a little reading on it. Maybe I'd find that it might be a cool thing to try out. And if it came for free, I'd definitely order a box with it on there - people love to get stuff for free. Once I started using it, maybe I'd find it did something better than Windows, and so on, and so on.

A demand may be there for Be, but Microsoft is attempting to preemptively squash any prospect of demand. That's one of the points Gassee's making.


Reasons to sell it with BeOS, too... (1)

Soulfry (12966) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002695)

But have you ever gotten a machine from an OEM with some funky DOS/Windows drivers supplied by the OEM to work with their funky hardware? OEM's often have to coordinate their specific hardware with the OS, so why not do the same with the BeOS? Of course there won't be as many resources (read programmers, etc.) to pair the two together, but with plain vanilla hardware, the task will be much easier.

As for the reasons to sell a machine with BeOS (and Linux, too, for that matter): more choices for the consumer, more bullet points in the advertisements, and all the free publicity generated for being the first kid on the block to sell a box with 3 OS'es pre-installed.


JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (1)

kmwertma (13019) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002697)

Can I be the wookie?

"It's Brazilian"

Read: An UPDATE (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002699)

Quit throwing a hissy fit on reposted stories!
BTW, Praise Be! ;)

Bullshit (1)

choo (14599) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002701)

Gassee has no intention of giving away free copies of Be, and he knows that he will not be giving away any copies of Be. If he does, why does Be not offer the OS for free to any computer user who asks? He should, if he really believes in the "network effect" he talks about.

This is just a cheap publicity stunt. The OEMs know that this is just a cheap publicity stunt -- therefore they will not install Be (there are many hidden costs besides the price of the OS). Therefore Be is the winner: Be gets good publicity, Gassee gets back at Microsoft, and he does not have to give away a single thing.

I thought Be OS was still prerelease (1)

Steelehead (14790) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002703)

Nope, hasn't been PR for sometime.
They are selling R4 as a full retail version, as they did w/ R3.2...
QuakeII has been ported (and looks awesome from what I have read). Granted, they don't have a lot of commercially available software (yet), but with Q2 ported, an ICQ/AIM (yes, both in one) client in the works, Opera (web browser) more than 1/2 finished, a full featured mail client available, it is coming right along...

BeOS Filesystem (1)

BiGGO (15018) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002704)

I know it is abit offtopic, but...

What fs type is it?
can Linux read it?
can BeOS read ext2?

Please tell me,
Maybe I'll try it....


Oh man!! :-) (1)

EddyGL (15300) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002705)

You know, I think I like Jean-Louis Gassée. There is a COE with balls!!
This man is willing to GIVE AWAY his product, if it means making his point. I doubt anyone will take him up on it, sadly enough, but, just this attitude is making my want yet another Hard Drive in my system, for Be :-) if for no other reason, than to help support this sort of guts with my $$$$

Bravo, M. Gassee! (1)

Devil (16134) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002706)

FANTASTIC article. Eloquently written, not threatening (as MS would have us believe), to the point, and, finally, GUTSY . Bravo, M. Gassee, on a move that is, if I may be blunt, as ballsy as I have ever seen from a non-OSS vendor. Be is really trying to get the word out on BeOS, and I can't think of a better way. I've messed with it a bit, and I think it is a great OS.

Microsoft definitely fears BeOS and Linux, make no mistake about that. Why? Because, if users get PCs with BeOS or Linux on it, they will see Windows 9x for what it really is, a cobbled-together, crash-prone OS, with serious security and reliability issues. OSes like BeOS and Linux are true multi-tasking, stable, do-the-job OSes. The only difference is that the world doesn't think it can survive without Microsoft. The truth is, we can. This is obvious on the server end, but not on the desktop end. Corel has released WordPerfect for Linux, and Be is a great multimedia-creation system. Thy both have niches right now, but I am looking forward to the day when we will be able to get any app, be it a graphics package, accounting software, Internet tools, games (Oh, yeah, I'm a gamer), and more for any OS we choose.

I would like to stress that I am not anti-MS. I just think that there are an increasing number of products that do a better job with smaller hardware requirements. I do think that when they really want to, they can make a good product. They just don't really want to. They are more concerned with profit margins than product quality. And that is why there is so much resistance out there. Corporations (and consumers) are getting fed up with the exhorbitant cost of MS software, the insane licensing agreements, and the downright shoddy quality of some of Microsoft's software. I want to stress this:

YOU CAN'T FOOL THE INDUSTRY FOREVER. You may be able to get away with poor design and high costs for a while, but this industry is constantly reinventing itself for lower and lower costs, and anyone who does not join in this trend will be OUT OF BUSINESS. Microsoft has lasted this long because they don't leave a "crack in the wall" for OEMs to use other (better) OSes.

I always welcome comments. Please email me at [mailto] with comments.

I thought Be OS was still prerelease (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002707)

Go to Read and learn.

No Subject Given (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002708)

Let me quote the relevant portion of Mr. Gassee's offer:
We end with a real-life offer for any PC OEM that's willing to challenge the monopoly: Load the BeOS on the hard disk so the user can see it when the computer is first booted, and the license is free.

In order to get the free license, OEMs don't have to load only BeOS on the machine. It doesn't even have to be the default OS. Users merely have to have the option of using the BeOS when the machine is first booted. And I would bet next month's paycheck that no OEMs take him up on the offer.

I worked for Gateway 2000 for three years, and I'm aware that there would be lots of other costs involved in placing BeOS on the system besides the license - there's compatibility testing, manufacturing downloads, and support. I estimate that it would cost $50/box (or more) to install BeOS on all of Gateway's consumer systems, and there's not enough demand to justify hiking everyone's prices by $50.

In the consumer space, Windows is not one of many operating systems; it is its own category. Microsoft is the only company that offers Windows. No other company has any product that can replace Windows in the consumer market. It is a de facto monopoly, even if it is not a de juris one (and I'm pretty much convinced it's both).

JLG >> RMS,ESR, and all those other goons. (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002709)

YEAH! Go AC! You tell those guys! Why don't THEY make Linux and GNU and all that stuff free? Why don't THEY talk about how Microsoft is a monopoly that won't let other OSs have a chance? Why don't they cut the license costs to zero for OEMs who preinstall Linux? Cause they're too busy being GEEKS, THAT's why. Let's hear it for the suits! GO SUITS!

BeOS Filesystem (1)

BugMaster ChuckyD (18439) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002711)

FS: 64-bit journalling FS "BFS"
read only ext2 driver for Be
read only BFS driver for linux
r/w dirver for FAT32 for BeOS has all the answers

better than pro wrestling !! (1)

cupelix (19359) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002713)

man this Miicrosoft vs DOJ is getting better all the time. I sure would like to get my choice of linux or be from almost any OEM.

it's just too Sweeeeeeeeeeet !!!!!!!

Be need distributors! (1)

ovadose (19370) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002714)

I love the concept of this offer but how bout be get a few (i understand there is a japanese and possibly a european) international distributors. I just ordered a copy of be (had to order it from be in the US) and it ended up costing me $180AUD (im in Australia). I could get windows98 for that price =P.

What's wrong with Windows? (1)

Anomalous CowHerd (90291) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002716)

Why would anyone want anything else? Windows does everything. It even does Windows.

Spoooon (1)

I-man (95468) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002717)

More DOJ ammo. Awesome. Go Be.

BeOS Filesystem (1)

kbirch (117672) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002718)

BeOS uses its own file system, called bfs. It's a 64-bit journaled fs, with a cool attribute and resource structure. As far as I know, it can't be read outside of BeOS, but that is probably not far out. According to Be's BeWare [] section this [] filesystem driver is available for ext2 read-only. The driver also has a homepage [] . There are several other filesystem drivers available in the BeWare section. The facility for creating plug-ins and add-ons both for an application and the operating system is *very* cool. Read up on the Be Book [] for more.

Developing. (1)

kbirch (117672) | more than 15 years ago | (#2002719)

How do you mean? R4 of BeOS comes with all the compiler tools, including the IDE and gcc. So you can use that, or vi and gmake, etc.
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