"On February 28, Be opened the floodgates on the free
version, encouraging users to download the OS from free.be.com. The
full version, complete with CD, box and manual, was scheduled for
release shortly thereafter. So what's the difference?"
"First of all, the free version is for personal use only.
However, Be's definition of "personal" is extremely broad. A Be
exec I spoke to said that it's fine to make a profit while using
BeOS Personal Edition. In fact, you can run an entire business on
free BeOS for all they care. The only requirement is that you don't
redistribute BeOS for a profit (you're welcome to distribute BeOS
for no profit, as long as you register with Be to do so)."
"Second, the free version is absent a few royalty-bearing
technologies -- a built-in, fully licensed MP3 codec, the Indeo 5
video encoder, and RealPlayer G2."