BeOS is an operating system for personal computers which began development by Be Inc. in 1991. It was first written to run on BeBox hardware, a short-lived dual processor PC.

The BeBox made its debut in October 1995 (BeBox Dual603-66). The processors were upgraded to 133 MHz in August 1996 (BeBox Dual603e-133). Production was halted at the end of 1996, following the port of BeOS to the Macintosh, in order for the company to concentrate on software. Be sold around 1000 66 MHz BeBoxes and 800 133 MHz BeBoxes.

Apple CEO Gil Amelio started negotiations to buy Be Inc., but negotiations stalled when Be CEO Jean-Louis Gassée wanted $400 million; Apple was unwilling to offer any more than $125 million. Apple's board of directors decided NeXTSTEP was a better choice and purchased NeXT in 1996 for $429 million, bringing back Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

In 1997, Power Computing began bundling BeOS (on a CD for optional installation) with its line of PowerPC-based Macintosh clones. These systems could dual boot either the Mac OS or BeOS, with a startup screen offering the choice. (src(external link))

March 1998: Due to Apple's moves and the mounting debt of Be Inc., BeOS was soon ported to the Intel x86 platform with its R3 release.

As a last-ditch effort to increase interest in the failing operating system, Be Inc. released a stripped-down, but free, copy of BeOS R5 known as BeOS Personal Edition (BeOS PE).

"I still have the last version of the OS installed back home in my AMD Duron 800Mhz desktop computer, BeOS 5.0.1. It is a good OS, very fast, very responsive. And there's a XML editor from out of this world called EnglishEditor2 that runs on BeOS5. It was with EE2 that the Koncorrrde files began being written. I still have those XML files archived here on the SGI laptop. Netscape is the only app that opens them well, with the correct character encoding [ UTF-8 ]. BeOS5 had something magical about it just from the simple fact that the boss of Be Inc. was from France. All the europeans felt a good vibe towards that operating system. It mades us [europeans] feel like the americans... A bit, yes. Even though, that's definetly not a good thing.."
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Operating Systems

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