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(operating system)
The operating system originally designed to run on the BeBox microcomputer. BeOS is good at both multitasking and real-time operation. It has a bash command shell, with ports of many GNU programs by Be, Inc. It has a GUI front end (not X). A C++ compiler is supplied with the machine, and there are rumours of other languages being ported in the future.

BeOs eventually became used on the x86 and standard PPC.

Be, Inc. went bankrupt in 1999, after releasing the last upgrade of BeOS (R5.0.3), and was sold to Palm.

Several groups are currently (2003) attempting to create an R6 version of the OS. The most likely to succeed are Yellowtab and OpenBeOS, which is likely to be renamed.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(1) (Be, Inc., Menlo Park, CA) A software company founded in 1990 by Jean Louise Gassee, former head of R&D at Apple, that specialized in the BeOS operating system. BeOS was originally developed for Be's own PowerPC-based machine known as the BeBox. An advanced object-oriented operating system that supports multiprocessing and multithreading, BeOS was designed for multimedia applications, including 3D graphics.

The BeBox hardware was later dropped, and BeOS was made available for the Mac and x86 machines. An Internet appliance version (BeIA) was developed that lived a short time in a Sony handheld. Throughout 2001, BeOS was distributed by Gobe Software, which was the developer of an office suite for that environment (see gobeProductive). In late 2001, the technology assets and intellectual property of Be were acquired by Palm.

(2) (Big Endian) See byte order.
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