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Byte.com: He Who Controls the Bootloader

Aug 27, 2001, 21:01 (50 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Hacker)

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"...Some in the community met the news with relief. Others simply seem exhausted by the endless process of battling ridiculous odds, and are ready to move on to something else. But many still believe deeply in what Be is and what they've created. Believe that there is a way to best Microsoft at its own game (without having to tread the open-source quagmire). Believe that there is no better desktop user experience, period.

But the reality is that Be's failure has made a point to the world, to whit: "Don't bother trying to create a better commercial desktop OS - it doesn't matter how hard you try, how many engineers you throw at the problem, how much money you spend, or how many years you put into it. Microsoft owns that space and, worse, the public is totally complicit with that fact. People will not stop using Windows. It is a losing battle."

It is unlikely now that anyone will ever again attempt what Be, Amiga, and IBM attempted. And that's the saddest thing of all - the insidious ways in which the monopoly has wormed itself into the fabric of our economy and culture. The message that "resistance is futile" has been hammered home. The only OS projects that stand a chance are open source, because they don't play by the rules of the economy. But open-source projects seem either unable or unwilling to create a system that approaches the elegance, speed, and ease-of-use of BeOS. If you want an x86 system with a future, you're now bound either to the mess of GNU/Linux or to the Windows donkey cart, with all of the political and technological baggage that entails."

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