"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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