Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Jan 2007 23:40 UTC, submitted by anonymous
BeOS & Derivatives "As World+Dog gets its head around Windows Vista, lets look back at an operating system that might have been a contender, very nearly becoming Apple's next-generation OS and, but for Linux, almost certainly the key alternative to Windows on x86. Ladies and gentlemen, who remembers BeOS?"
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So so article...
by pcummins on Wed 31st Jan 2007 04:59 UTC
pcummins
Member since:
2005-07-10

BeOS was pretty interesting at the time when you compared it to Mac OS 8/9, Windows 98/NT and Linux 2.0 (maybe RH5 or 6?). It had some cool features and pushed processing into SMP territory which was pretty rare back in the late 90's on a desktop computer.

The BeBox was pretty nifty by losing the L2 cache in favour of twin 603e CPU's, but nowadays it's quite slow from personal experience the last time I checked it out. The later Intel BeOS 5 ran circles around it on 400+ mHz Intel boxes with superior graphics hardware that had proper drivers.

Probably the biggest fault BeOS had was it didn't really have the driver support it needed compared to Linux's kernel drivers as well as no true blue Unix compatibility layer (it did support quite a bit, but not as much as GNU/Linux with X, libraries, etc). Just getting critical mass to support the BeOS API's was a bit of a tough ask.

These days again and again it's hardware support and application support that matters. All "the snap" and "way cool API's" don't mean much if you can't run the hardware you own and you can't run the applications you own.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So so article...
by ari-free on Wed 31st Jan 2007 05:15 in reply to "So so article..."
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

what you are saying is true but at the same time, you can have all the hardware support like linux and not really go anywhere unless you have something 'cool' enough to get people to switch.

Steve Jobs has something 'cool.' It is NOT about dev tools or whether it has this or that feature. Do people care that MacOSX doesn't have OLE, a basic feature Windows had for years? That's not cool-that's "business."

If it was about the dev tools...checks the want ads for Objective C experience... Checks the number of business apps and games for macs...

Edited 2007-01-31 05:18

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: So so article...
by Rayz on Wed 31st Jan 2007 13:51 in reply to "RE: So so article..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Exactly.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: So so article...
by pcummins on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 03:38 in reply to "RE: So so article..."
pcummins Member since:
2005-07-10

As I was saying, people want to run the programs that they own already (or are familiar with already) and utilise their existing hardware. BeOS didn't really have it on both fronts (people wanted IE rather than NetPositive, MS Office rather than Gobe Productive), neither does GNU/Linux (but it's getting there slowly with Open Office). My experience on BeOS 5 on Intel was "yeah, it's OK. Just don't see average Joe using this, however. No apps. No games. No nothing, really. Oh, and no good support for my GeForce 256 so I run in 16 colours kind of puts me off."

As you surmise, the only way to compete is to provide something that's cool, integrated and it "just works". That's what Apple is proving time and time again. However, don't forget Apple also supports quite a few bits of hardware and software so people can get on with work when they don't need to do their "cool" stuff.

I'm not sure how successful Apple would be if there were no business applications or games like MS Office, Quicken, MYOB or WoW. That was a major complaint against Apple back in the 90's. Nowadays, people are more willing to compromise and learn new applications, but there's still a large number of "indocrinated" users out there that refuse to learn anything that's new (or different) to a large degree. (IT admins are particularly bad, when I think about it).

Ultimately, I think software developers need to provide the existing applications to users, then work on a limited subset application base that "just works" and does what say, the 90% of users want. We've been seeing some of this (Firefox/Thunderbird vs Mozilla/Netscape, AppleWorks vs MS Office, iPhoto vs say, Photoshop, iMovie/iDVD vs AVID/Adobe Premiere) but I don't think it's a formalised objective yet.

Users want simplicity and ease of use. If they don't get that 90% done and need the extra 10%, they can go out and find an application that will do it, but don't try to provide that last 10% at the risk of alienating the 90% of users who just want something that "just works".

Reply Parent Score: 1