Be Inc is set to unveil the first version of its BeOS operating system for Intel processors at the Software Development 98 Show in San Francisco this week, the company’s first time at a non- Macintosh show. Be which first demonstrated the Intel version of its media operating system last August (CI No 3,218), promised […]
Be Inc is set to unveil the first version of its BeOS operating system for Intel processors at the Software Development 98 Show in San Francisco this week, the company’s first time at a non- Macintosh show. Be which first demonstrated the Intel version of its media operating system last August (CI No 3,218), promised then that it would release both Intel and PowerPC versions of BeOS early this year. At a press conference Wednesday morning, Be will unveil a nearly complete edition, and expects the final cut to begin shipping in about five weeks time. Be is also ready with the first commercial version of the BeOS Release 3 for the PowerPC until now the software has been available only in preview releases. As well as a Java enabled browser, and expanded multimedia support, Release 3 is expected to include support for the latest PowerPC 750 (G3) processor cards from the likes of Wichita, Kansas-based Newer Technologies Inc and Austin, Texas-based PowerLogix R&D Inc. Apple itself is said to have been less than cooperative in providing the technical specifications of its own G3 motherboards. That may not matter in the long term: Alex Osadzinski, vice president of sales and marketing, says he expects most of our business to be on Intel in the future. And early tests of the Intel release suggest it runs faster on Intel platforms, mainly because of the better supporting chipsets. We’re showing things we didn’t think we’d be able to do, says Osadzinski, such as running two live video feeds at 30 frames a second along with an output feed. Currently, however, all of Be’s customers are on PowerPC chips, but Osadzinski says that won’t be an insurmountable problem, as Be is still in its development phase. We have five or six commercial applications, and we know who they are. The developers are beating on our door for the Intel version. He expects a volume of applications to begin building up by the third quarter of this year. Be’s target will be the top 4% of media-enabled PCs, and will concentrate on multimedia applications for the home enthusiast market, such as amateur musicians and real-time video editing for home videographers and local television. Also at the show, the MacOS runtime environment emulator for BeOS known as SheepShaver, will be released. Written by two developers, Marc Hellwig and Christian Bauer, the product won’t run on Intel machines, as it runs MacOS and PowerPC Mac applications natively, in a similar way to Apple’s Blue Box or the way Windows applications run on OS/2, rather than using slower CPU emulation. It does run on older, Motorola 68000-based Macs using emulation.