Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:14 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Does anyone remember GoBE Productive? The BeOS boys and girls among us will certainly do. Well, with money from India, they're back. "Backed by new investors, a new team and deeper pockets, GoBe Productive is now back with a vengeance promising to shake up the Office space. Blue Lotus Software Solutions, the new company founded by a clutch of new investors and with equity participation by GoBe Corporation, has launched the product again from India." They will initially offer a Windows version, but a Mac and Linux version (using Java) are on the horizon. There is a more interesting bit at the end of the article, though: "Blue Lotus is already planning for its next foray and is negotiating to buy out the BEOS operating system from the promoters of BE Inc, which was the original owner of GoBe Productive, but were driven to bankruptcy as they were unable to compete with Microsoft." In fact: "We are in discussions to acquire the BEOS and hope to close the deal soon." Since I ate eggs this morning for breakfast, my jar of salt is still on the kitchen top, and most likely for the better: someone should call these guys and tell them that most likely, no one will answer the phone in Menlo Park. Instant update: More on the re-launch of GoBE Productive. The GoBE website sees no updates. Update II: My remark concerning phone answering in Menlo Park may be off the mark: welcome the corporate promoter, which, in this case, could refer to Access.
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What for?
by merkoth on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:39 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

It's great to se GoBE up on its feet again but, what could they use BeOS for? Maybe a one-stop enterprise desktop solution? A lightweight OS plus a full-featured, lightweight office suite would be interesting for bussiness with tight budgets perhaps.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What for?
by stew on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:11 UTC in reply to "What for?"
stew Member since:
2005-07-06

Couldn't they do that already with the Linux version? That sounds to me like it would be cheaper and faster than purchasing and developing BeOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What for?
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:17 UTC in reply to "What for?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

They probably want a native OS for the sake of national pride, as it has been mentioned. India is one of the bigger tech hubs in the world, yet they still use Operating Systems designed elsewhere. I don't think the low systems specs hurt either.

It could also be a bunch of Be enthusiasts who want to give the code a good home. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What for?
by tonestone57 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: What for?"
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

India is one of the bigger tech hubs in the world, yet they still use Operating Systems designed elsewhere.


Well, better choices would have been to support Haiku or create their own Linux distro. They could have donated funds and/or programming help to Haiku which would have helped get the OS done quicker. Or made a Linux distro which would have given them access to many available programs.

Why bring back BeOS now that Haiku is getting closer and closer to being ready for public release? It makes me wonder if BeOS 6 or later & Haiku will still remain compatible after this. I still find BeOS useful today but when Haiku gets close to final release then it is better to drop BeOS & switch over.

As for everyone using Microsoft Office on Windows. That may be true in North America and maybe Europe but in places like India & China people can't afford ( or won't pay for ) Windows & Office. Low cost office solutions will sell better in those parts of the world.

Edited 2008-01-22 15:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What for?
by Buck on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 16:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What for?"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

Why bring back BeOS now that Haiku is getting closer and closer to being ready for public release?

Yeah, that's what's bothering me too. Even if they manage to buy everything, they're still stuck with a code that is several years old, contains many bugs and hard to maintain/program (remember that BeOS was/is unlike many OSes out there). So unless they miraculously find many prolific developers who dig all the multithreading stuff and have BeOS programming expreience... well... they're stuck with an old exotic car.
Equally worrying is that even if they pull it off, there may be compatibility problems with Haiku as people have already mentioned however it's unlikely that any developer would target that platform if that's the case... If it's for India, then it's really strange nobody's bothered to do any research and find that Haiku exists and just greenlit some random proposal some guys threw at them...
Certainly somebody's just mistranslated some Indian press-release...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What for?
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What for?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Well, better choices would have been to support Haiku or create their own Linux distro.


We think that would be a better idea, but they might have weighted the options and come to a different conclusion. Honestly I have no idea what they are planning on doing, so I can't say what would be better choices.

Low cost office solutions will sell better in those parts of the world.


I think that is essentially what they are aiming at. An EEE PC with lower specs or something embedded using BeIA like MS Sync, WinMobile, etc. The original author touched on that, so I didn't feel like repeating it.

My best guess is the BeOS enthusiasts at GoBe have convinced some people with money to try to purchase the holy relic that is BeOS code. What they plan to do with it, I have no idea. Maybe print it out and snuggle up to it at night. ;)

Edited 2008-01-22 21:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Tight budgets..
by Brunis on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:44 UTC
Brunis
Member since:
2005-11-01

Companies with tight budgets use 'copies' ..they don't exclude themselves from the rest of the world by using software noone else are compatible with.

Reply Score: 4

Why buy BeOS...
by FreeGamer on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 11:51 UTC
FreeGamer
Member since:
2007-04-13

...when you could hire a few Haiku hackers?

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Fransexy
by Fransexy on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:01 UTC
Fransexy
Member since:
2005-07-29

I hope they buy it and develop it.It would be pity that this awesome OS die on a drawer in a wharehouse

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Fransexy
by theine on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 17:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by Fransexy"
theine Member since:
2005-09-29

Excuse me! In a whorehouse??

Reply Score: 1

New song, same dance?
by neowolf on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:04 UTC
neowolf
Member since:
2005-07-06

Not sure what to think about this. Certainly unexpected but I'm not about to hold my breath. A small time company's already smashed dreams of BeOS returning. Meanwhile Haiku creeps closer and closer to filling that void in a way that's considerably harder to take away.

Reply Score: 8

Weird but exciting news
by Buck on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:15 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Don't know what to think of this announcement. Possibly it's just a misunderstanding on somebody's part... An office suite company doesn't need a whole OS, they have enough things to worry about regarding the product they have and bringing a heavy giant that an operating system is into the mix isn't going to help anyone. At least I guess they should first concentrate on what they have rather than jumping into OS business...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Weird but exciting news
by bryanv on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:42 UTC in reply to "Weird but exciting news"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

It wouldn't surprise me if what they really are trying to do is license (or buy) the rights to the API.

As I recall, GoBe wrote a massive API wrapper that basically implemented the BeAPI on win32. Without Be, inc. around, and without a license to distribute BeOS, it would make sense to me that they'd need some form of arrangement to keep from violating IP laws in some country with really stupid IP laws and an overly litigious society. Not that I could imagine a place like that existing...

It's probably more that they need to buy the IP rights to the OS's API than it is the OS itself. At this point, I really -hope- that BeOS stays in the dark closet it's been in for seven years.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Weird but exciting news
by Buck on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Weird but exciting news"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

So you say they still use the same wrapper to this day and when the Java version is produced, they're just gonna add one more (third) layer?
Sounds a bit insane.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Weird but exciting news
by bryanv on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Weird but exciting news"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

No, I don't expect them to use the same wrapper. what? Huh? I didn't say anything like that.

I have no idea how they'll do it with java.

What I meant to say, was that if they did it in java 'correctly', there wouldn't be a performance problem. People's preconceived notion that java apps are slow are outright incorrect. The technology has matured. Any 'slownesss' in a java app that I've ever seen has been from stupid programmers. Even in the old apps that did feel a bit sluggish, it was because people were doing stupid, stupid things like executing expensive operations on the event handling thread which is still a commonality among idiot programmers.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Weird but exciting news
by Brendan on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:24 UTC in reply to "Weird but exciting news"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

At least I guess they should first concentrate on what they have rather than jumping into OS business...


Perhaps they did - I can't think of any "largish" commercial application company, web browser company, anti-virus company, compiler company and/or emulator/virtualisation company that's made a living from writing Windows software that hasn't also faced direct competition with Microsoft's own application, web browser, anti-virus, compiler and/or emulator/virtualisation products.

With "everything must be Microsoft" on one side and "everything must be open source" on the other side, I'd really hate to be an "applications only" company...

Reply Score: 1

Java version?
by sb56637 on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:32 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

A Java version of GoBE Productive? Ugh, that violates practically every BeOS principle about being lightweight and responsive.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Java version?
by bryanv on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:38 UTC in reply to "Java version?"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Not if they did it right.

But they won't (hardly anyone does), so you're probably right.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Java version?
by helf on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Java version?"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I've only ever run into *2* Java programs that were lightweight and responsive. 'South Debugger' that I used to use when I *cough* 'worked' on PalmOS programs and the new Java Wrokflows client from Sirsi Dynix...

Most of the Java programs I see are horribly slow and bloated and don't 'look right' compared to the rest of the programs running.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Java version?
by shiva on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:03 UTC in reply to "Java version?"
shiva Member since:
2007-01-24

Of course java is not a reasonable solution to make a desktop application. Even OpenOffice does not use java to make the GUI and the core, but C++.

I think that it is stupid compete with Microsoft Office in the windows market. Even if your product is better or is much cheaper, people will not buy it because in the windows world Microsoft Office is THE standard, even if the mots of copies are illegal. Even the free (as free beer) OpenOffice is not advancing much in the windows market.

Linux market is much smaller than windows but there is no commercial alternatives to OpenOffice. Many non-USA governments are changing to linux and ODF and therefor there are chances to someone who makes a good product with ODF support, decent localisation, good documentation, good import filters for Microsoft formats and modest price.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Java version?
by gmlongo on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Java version?"
gmlongo Member since:
2005-07-07

Java is a perfectly valid platform for making desktop applications. Things have changed a lot with regards to Swing, but people's perceptions are hard to change.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Java version?
by bornagainenguin on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 16:08 UTC in reply to "Java version?"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

A Java version of GoBE Productive? Ugh, that violates practically every BeOS principle about being lightweight and responsive.


That's okay, everyone else has already abandoned the philosophy behind the BeOS with this strange fetish for backwards compatibility... Wasn't the BeOS where the developers decided to remove the cruft by tearing everything down and starting from scratch using new technologies?

Or did my copy of In the Beginning Was the Command Line lie to me?

--bornagainpenguin

Edited 2008-01-22 16:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Why bother with BeOS?
by bryanv on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:35 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

Pay five full-time Haiku developers.

It'll be cheaper, it's got a stronger brand at this point (the project hasn't had two failed commercial ventures around it), it's far more posix-compliant, we have ports underway that BeOS will -choke-and-die- on, we've actually been doing development for the last seven years, and I think the code base is probably on par quality wise.

Bringing back GoBe: Cool!

Trying to resurrect BeOS: Stupid.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Why bother with BeOS?
by Touvan on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:44 UTC in reply to "Why bother with BeOS?"
Touvan Member since:
2006-09-01

I don't think it's stupid, but they'd need to do some things right. First, they'd have to tie it to hardware (Operating Systems are sold with hardware - almost exclusively - why don't business people get that?)

Second, they'd need to have good marketing to sell that hardware - and a good suite of programs (this is essentially what Apple has been doing).

If it were me, I'd try to figure out how to target gamers, but BeOS isn't really ready for that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why bother with BeOS?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Why bother with BeOS?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Operating Systems are sold with hardware - almost exclusively - why don't business people get that?


Because the company that decoupled those is now the biggest and most successful software company in the world?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why bother with BeOS?
by makc on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why bother with BeOS?"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

add "... because they tied in OEM vendors" and it'll be fine ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Why bother with BeOS?
by Touvan on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why bother with BeOS?"
Touvan Member since:
2006-09-01

That's all fine and dandy, but they did that through OEM contracts. Fact is, they still sell their Operating System, almost exclusively, tied with hardware - just like I said previously. :-)

BTW, mentioning their decoupling, strengthens my position, because MS abuses their monopoly position to keep alternatives off of the machines of those very same OEMs (admittedly, that position has weakened ever so slightly in the last few years).

As far as I can tell, the only way to take on a company like that is through lobbying oversight bodies (governments). If you really wanted to take them on in the private sector, Apple's model seems to be the only way to go. If you can't get OEMs to use your alternative product, you'd have to be your own OEM (and I don't mean to say you need to be as locked down as Apple often is, that's all them).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Why bother with BeOS?
by cpiral on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 07:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Why bother with BeOS?"
cpiral Member since:
2006-04-19

Why worry about hardware in the coming age of Transparent Paravirtualization? http://www.vmware.com/interfaces/paravirtualization.html

Reply Score: 1

well...
by pistooli on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:42 UTC
pistooli
Member since:
2005-07-09

with all respect... we have seen articles about this product to be OpenSourced... in 2002...

"The news from the Gobe Software front seem to be slightly sad, but only at first glance. Sad because, Gobe as we know it is no more, as it sold the gobeProductive source code and rights to FreeRadicalSoftware, Inc. However, FreeRadicalSoftware's business plan requires them to GPL the popular office suite, allowing everyone to access gobeProductive's source for Windows, Linux and even BeOS. The official announcement is expected next week. FreeRadicalSoftware was created recently by the ex-boss of Gobe Software, Bruce Hammond, and some other ex-Gobe and non-Gobe people."

seeing is believing... ;) lets wait for the product!

Reply Score: 3

Might be true.
by judgen on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:42 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

Ive read that the indian government has loong been looking for an indian proprietary OS that follows all INDIAN standards and aquireing one that has the basic requirements for a cheap buck instead of writing everything from scratch seems like a good idea. (like apple did) Lets hope that if this deal goes through and BeOS becomes an indian os, that the famous goverment owned opensource labs and universities would develop for it. Also if gobe decides to develop the OS itself there are some really top notch developers and engineers in india that work for much lower salaries and also the total cost of operations is lower in india than in the US and germany *ahem*
Its not likely that the BeOS is sold though, this feels a bit like a castle in the sky.

But kudos to gobe if they succeed would be awsome with more Be type activites no matter on what they are doing.

Btw, wonder where this money came from.. "We have access to a lot of money and there is a tremendous amount of resources behind us in this project,"
Maybe its the government...

Reply Score: 5

Indian calendar?
by marcof on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:46 UTC
marcof
Member since:
2005-08-02

Has the indian calendar reached april 1st already?

Reply Score: 4

Mmh
by Tanner on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 12:50 UTC
Tanner
Member since:
2005-07-06

To me this "resurrection" is unneeded, I'm trying to figure out what will happen to Haiku, all the posssible implications...

I'm skeptical.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Mmh
by jarzac on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 16:02 UTC in reply to "Mmh"
jarzac Member since:
2007-06-15

Me too. I wonder what the market will behave having both comercial and open OSes. What direction will it take.

For one thing I hope they release and support GoBe Productive for BeOS again.

Reply Score: 1

Exciting.. and unexpected.
by hollovoid on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:17 UTC
hollovoid
Member since:
2005-09-21

I for one dont mind seeing it come back,,, a modernized BeOS... ahh.. I still remember waiting a week for my Beos 4, and the 4.5 update to come in the mail, the speed was amazing on my old Cyrix (remember those?) processor, when nothing else ran worth a damn on it. It was cool being able to play more than 1 high resolution (for the time) video at once with no lag on the system.. I may never use this as a primary os since I dont see it getting floods of software that I use coming, but as alot of us here, its always cool to try an OS that isnt the usual, quite refreshing ;)

Good luck to Gobe, will be watching.

Reply Score: 2

Bernd?
by yahya on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 13:41 UTC
yahya
Member since:
2007-03-29

So, who will be given the job of ressurecting BeOS? will they hire Bernd Korz? ;-)

Edited 2008-01-22 13:41 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Bernd?
by bryanv on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 14:19 UTC in reply to "Bernd?"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

God I hope not.

Reply Score: 5

Just installed GobeProductive : )
by jello on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:35 UTC
jello
Member since:
2006-08-08

Gobe's website gives you the link to download a trial version that runs for 2 month.

Here in the US the Introductory Price is $49.95.

Have fun.

Jello

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Gobe's website gives you the link to download a trial version that runs for 2 month.


That's the old, 2001-2003 version.

Reply Score: 1

jello Member since:
2006-08-08

Ups, didn't know that.

Reply Score: 1

bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

What, you think there's a new version?

I'd be surprised if they did any more than just change a few string and image resources and recompile.

Reply Score: 2

Resurrect
by fithisux on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 15:57 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

the f#@&ing thing, gpl it and merge with Haiku. MS is getting more and more irrelevant.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Resurrect
by smashIt on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 17:53 UTC in reply to "Resurrect"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

the f#@&ing thing, gpl it and merge with Haiku.

gpl is the best way to render it useles to haiku ;)

Reply Score: 4

Will Access sell?
by Invincible Cow on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 16:43 UTC
Invincible Cow
Member since:
2006-06-24

Didn't Access say they wouldn't sell the rights to BeOS "even if someone put a million dollars on their doorstep"?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Will Access sell?
by zizban on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 17:11 UTC in reply to "Will Access sell?"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

They could sell exclusive license but keep the IP.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Will Access sell?
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 20:43 UTC in reply to "Will Access sell?"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

How much do you think they bought the rights for in the first place? I sincerely doubt it's less than that: therefore, a million bucks would be a loss, and it isn't incompatible that someone could come along and buy the rights to the IP or at least to license it, given there were enough zeroes after a non-zero number ;)

Reply Score: 2

Wha, huh?!
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 17:13 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I just woke up, or atleast I thought so, until I saw this post :O They're going to buy BeOS? For what? If they plan on selling the thing I seriously doubt they'll make very far.. Why? Well, there are already like a gazillion OSes available, both free and commercial, and BeOS is already very aged in comparison to either. Average users don't even know that name anymore, they know "Mac" or "Windows" (or just plain "my PC"?) and for OS enthusiasts..well, there is already Haiku which is not only free but you can just start hacking on it and have fun, you get direct access to the devs on IRC etc..

Maybe I am just short-sighted but unless they're planning to give BeOS away for free I just can't imagine it competing with pretty much anything that's available already.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by netpython
by netpython on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 18:09 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Unlike the MS Office, GoBe has everything in the same window; there is no need to click open different applications.

Also, GoBe is not a diskspace-sucker: it takes up just 20MB to load, and just 48MB of RAM to run. The Office XP needs a minimum 210MB diskspace and 128MB RAM.


I'm willing to pay for a quality product that launches faster then let's say OpenOffice yet has all you could possibly need in one window.

Reply Score: 5

Well, they could just use Haiku...
by madcrow on Tue 22nd Jan 2008 20:46 UTC
madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

...and backport parts of the "real" BeOS code where needed. It seems like Haiku uses the MIT license, which is functionally just like the BSD license in that it allows people to create proprietary forks of the code with no retributions whenever they want..

Reply Score: 2