1995: BeOS - History of Desktop OSs

Slideshow: The History of the Desktop Operating System
1995: BeOS - History of Desktop OSs

BeOS, developed by Be, a company that was founded by former Apple Computer executive Jean-Louis Gassée, was a multimedia operating system that could have reshaped the world of microcomputers. It was initially created to run AT&T Hobbit-based hardware and Apple’s PowerPC Reference Platform.

Apple reportedly was interested in acquiring Be, but declined due to its high price. As a result, BeOS made its way to the x86 platform and quickly gained the reputation as a highly capable OS, but failed to grow beyond its niche.

In 2000, Be released the BeOS Personal Edition (BeOS PE) with some success, but did not find a way to monetize its software enough to sustain its business. Later that year, Be announced to move from desktop computers to tablets and Internet Appliances by releasing BeIA, but only convinced Sony to license its software for the company's eVilla device - which was sold for only a few months. The Be tablet is viewed as the modern father of today's tablets, but was never sold. Be was doomed as a result and sold itself to Palm in 2001 for $11 million.

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