All top tier smart phone OSes trace back to BeOS!

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Mad Echidna, May 10, 2011.

  1. Mad Echidna

    Mad Echidna

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    Something dawned on me that I thought some of you might find interesting.

    So, once upon a time, there was a company called Be. They made an incredible desktop OS and some pretty unique computers. BeOS was good enough that it's one of the few dead OSes that has been successfully cloned by the open source community as Haiku.

    Be wasn't able to make much money with their BeBox computers, and was muscled out of the PC OEM market by Microsoft, so as a last stand they designed a groundbreaking OS for internet appliances called BeIA. BeIA used some new technology that will sound familiar to modern ears, such as a javascript based API, and the webtop paradigm for a desktop environment. Sadly, the few devices that BeIA made it onto were a commercial failure, and Be eventually went out of business.

    Despite the failure of BeIA, at least one component of it lives on. I don't remember the guy's name at the moment, but I spoke to a former Be developer on IRC a while back and he pointed out to me that clipper, the BeIA memory manager, is actually used in WebOS. It was one of the few things that Be released as open source.

    As for Android, Andy Rubin, the founder of Android inc and current head of Android at Google, also worked at Danger, a company where several Be employees such as Baron Arnold ended up.

    The Kin project, which largely inspired the UI of Windows Phone 7, was created by Danger after it became part of Microsoft. Unfortunately after Microsoft axed the OS Danger was working on, Project Pink, and the Kin was a dismal failure, nearly all of the Danger employees left Microsoft (including of course Andy Rubin), leaving little if any shipped code behind.
     
  2. Alehbeer

    Alehbeer

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    That's interesting. I used to use BeOS - maybe version 4? It used to boot in seconds. Then I remember not being able to find it anymore. I thought it was sold to 3Com / PALM though? Or did that not include BeIA?