A new version of the Be OS was demonstrated this morning running on Intel hardware. Until now, the Be OS ran only on the faltering PowerPC platform. According to Jean-Louis Gassee, Be's president and CEO, the Intel version of the Be OS will ship in January. If released on schedule, their Intel OS will beat Apple's Intel version of Rhapsody by at least six months, casting further doubt on Apple's decision to buy Next.
The problem for Be, however, is creating a viable OS alternative to Windows in an age of Microsoft domination. Windows controls over 90% of all computers now in service. Gassee claims that Windows and Be can co-exist, since the Be OS can replace Macintosh as the new platform for creative types.
"I understand that people are going to believe that we are aiming at Windows--you can't write a line of code without butting heads with Microsoft," said Gassee. "\[But\] we want to capture the opportunities that are afforded by digital media."
The Intel version of the Be OS will support one, two, and four processor systems and will work with Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium II systems. As for those who would expect the Be OS to run slower on Intel CPUs, Gassee demonstrated the ability to take the same source code and recompile it for both the Intel and PowerPC platforms. The application operated identically on comparable system using both types of CPUs.
For more information about Be and the Be OS, visit the Be Web site