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As a passionate BeOS fan I have mixed feelings about JLG. I still can't forgive, that he decided not to open source of at least some important parts of BeOS back in 2001 (not just Deskbar and Tracker). It would've helped OpenBeOS immensely to reach usable state faster. OpenBe could've been a major player in open-source multimedia desktop OS sector for seven or ten years by now.
Yes I'm a little bit bitter. Props to him for showing up at Google Talks in 2007 to support Haiku, though.
Right with you. BeOS was... (to me and many others) simply an amazing OS. I miss it. I've tried Haiku for fun but it still isn't quite there... but I do hope for it and donate whenever I am able.
Sometimes I wonder how it would have turned out if Apple had gone the BeOS way.
Assuming that they would have been as successful, then Mac OS X (BeOS variant) and Windows would be both non UNIX systems as the mainstream platforms.
On the other hand, without Steve Jobs on board and the publicity to cater for UNIX fans to jump into Mac OS X (NextStep variant), most likely the strategy could have failed.
Anyway, this is just a what if from history that won't repeat itself, BeOS is gone.
The problem with opensourcing BeOS is that some parts were under NDA from both licensing and ownership proprietarity and releasing BeOS as open source in somewhat usable bits and pieces at that time did not make sense as Palm.inc had plans to use some of those parts and the Be engineers in their future proprietary projects and needed to stay clear of legaleese issues.
There was a good article here on osnews recently that party touched the issue.