This small company at one time did a lot of "rustle" in the computer world. Operating system BeOS, created Be Incorporated, is still revered by many connoisseurs as something of a masterpiece. But be that as it may, this company flashed like a meteor in the sky of modern business, bright, but short-lived.
Be, Inc. was founded in 1990 by people from another legendary company - a former executive director Apple, Jean-Louis Gassée, in company with Steve Sakoman. Initially, the spirit of dissent is felt in the history of the company - Be, Inc. started with the creation of its own platform, a computer bebox. The goal was to create advanced technologies. Advanced in everything, both hardware and software. And it should be noted that the goal, in principle, was achieved.
Head Office Be Incorporated located in Menlo Park, California (Menlo Park, California), regional offices - in France and Japan. The staff of the company, even in the best of times, did not exceed a hundred people. And yet, she made such a monster as Microsoft.
The name "Be" (eng. - be) arose, as the legend says, by chance, from the dialogue between Gasse and Sakoman. Initially, Gasse wanted to call the company a cumbersome name. United Technoids Inc.which his partner opposed. Sakoman sat down at the dictionaries in the hope of digging up something better. After some time, Gasse called him and asked how things were going. Sakoman replied that he got to "B", meaning the letter (pronounced "bi"). Gasse misunderstood him, deciding that we were talking about the word "Ve" (English - "to be, exist"), which sounds the same. He made a quick decision: “Be is great. Let's stop there."
Computers bebox based on the PowerPC architecture. These were advanced devices that carried all the achievements of their time. Sometimes these machines were referred to as "Silicon Graphics for the poor." But the pretty "dark blue boxes" were not very popular. The rather high price affected (lower, of course, than Silicon Graphics, but still many times higher than that of conventional PCs), the lack of proper and competent advertising, as well as the subconscious fear of consumers of everything fundamentally new. As a result, in 1997, the company finally left the "iron" business, completely switching to the development BeOS. Porting experiments of which began in 1995, when the first version for Apple Macintosh.
At that time the company Apple I was just looking for a new operating system for my computers. Purchase talks have begun Be, Inc. However, the deal never took place. Instead of Be, Inc. company was taken over Next, which was run by the notorious Steve Jobs. The reasons are called the most different. Actually, it was a dark story. Who claims that they simply “did not agree on the price” - Gasse called the inflated cost, which did not suit the then executive director Apple, Gilbert Amelio. Someone prefers the version that Jobs played a role here, who was again invited to Apple, and who naturally wanted to take with him all the achievements Next. There is an assumption that the "apple company" was simply afraid to stray too far from UNIX-like systems ... But there is another version, according to which the omnipotent Microsoft, who stated that she would not write software for Macif they are running BeOS. We will probably never know the exact answer.
The company urgently had to look for a new platform. And it is not surprising that in March 1998 the world saw BeOS, ported for Intel x86. The system experienced stiff competition from both Windows, and gaining strength linux. A variety of steps are being taken to attract users. For example, there is a special stripped-down version that launches right from under Windows. Freely distributed by the way. There is an attempt to enter the market of mobile devices - the system BeIA…
It is believed that the main reason for the distress Be Inc.. became Microsoft. According to some information, the corporation constantly tripped up its small but potentially dangerous competitor. In addition to the "hit" mentioned above, Apple, stories are also known similar situations with Hitachi и Compaq.
Efforts Be Inc. turned out to be futile. Sales were minimal, and lack of money hindered development. Yes, and too much effort and money was wasted on unrealized projects and throwing from one extreme to another. As a result, in 2001 the assets Be, Inc. go to palm source. The latter was interested in some developments of the company, which could help in the creation of a fundamentally new operating system Palm OS 6 Cobalt (which, by the way, was never completed). At present, the rights to BeOS owned by a Japanese company ACCESS, which acquired palm source in 2001.
Behind Be, Inc. 11 million dollars was paid, which is 18 times less than Gassé wanted to get from Apple. And then another dark story happened. As you know, the company PlamSource did not plan to distribute in any way BeOS. But nevertheless, the source codes of the system mysteriously became available to some enthusiasts. Who posted the codes on the Web and who managed to download them remained unknown. It is not entirely clear the origin of the license to modify and sell BeOS, which shocked the company yellowTAB, which subsequently created the system Zeta.
But that's the story Be, Inc. and Gasse himself does not end. After the takeover, only one employee remained in the company - Dan Jackson. His responsibilities included the liquidation of the company. And he not only coped with this task, but also exceeded it, filing a lawsuit in September 2003 against Microsoft. The corporation was accused of unfair competition. And the process was won! As a result, Microsoft paid Be, Inc. approximately $23 million. Probably, this amount is not even a hundredth of what the corporation has earned during this time. But nevertheless, “the process has begun” and revisions of license agreements concluded Microsoft with computer manufacturers. Not that they mean much, but still...
As for Gasse, he got a good job at PalmSource, immediately joining the company's board of directors, and in 2004 became its chairman. The company was then actively working on Palm OS 6 Cobalt (it is believed that this OS has a lot of developments from BeIA), which was never completed. after sale palm source Japanese Access. Gasse seems to have been seen in Google. Attempts to revive BeOS are being undertaken to this day. And not only for sheer enthusiasm, but also for commercial purposes. So far not very successful. The most famous can be considered Haiku (project HaikuOS), Zeta (the project is already closed) and BeOS Max.
Official site Be Inc.. was earlier http://www.be.com. Now it can be considered http://www.beincorporated.com/, which is almost an exact copy of the previous one. Please note that the logo on the site is crossed by a black mourning ribbon.