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Old Operating Systems Don’t Die...

Sep 18, 2009, 04:36 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Harry McCracken)

"Now this is good tech news in its purest form: After eight years of development, a new operating system called Haiku has been released in alpha form. It’s an open-source reconstruction of BeOS, the mean, lean, multimedia-savvy OS which I really liked when I reviewed it for PC World, um, eleven years ago. (If I recall correctly, I compared it with Windows 98 and an early version of Red Hat Linux.) It’s certainly a happier development than we’re accustomed to hearing about BeOS, a product which failed to become the next-generation Mac OS back in the 1990s and was then sold to Palm for a measly $11 million, whereupon it pretty much vanished except for the occasional legal aftershock.

"Still, for an operating system that never succeeded in the first place, BeOS has been remarkably…successful. It’s still embedded in at least one professional audio product, is the subject of multiple news sites and blogs, and boasts an impressive array of applications. It may not have changed the world, but it was both useful and loved. And even if Haiku is a quixotic project, it gives BeOS a new lease on life."

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