Be plans BeOS 4.0 release at Comdex

Be, Inc. announced this week the release of BeOS Release 4, an operating system for "digital content creators who want to manipulate high bandwidth digital media" (in other words, Mac users). BeOS 4 will debut at Fall Comdex in Las Vegas next week and be widely available in December.

"BeOS is designed from the ground up for users who want to blend an assortment of audio, video and graphics data in real time with immediate feedback and control," said Jean-Louis Gassée, chairman and CEO of Be, Inc. "These prosumers range from the entrepreneur building a wedding video business to an aspiring rock band who wants to create their first CD. The BeOS delivers a powerful, but easy-to-use framework that brings media applications to life on standard off-the-shelf PCs."

Be hopes that its unique approach as an operating system that coexists with Windows will set it apart from Linux and the Macintosh. BeOS Release 4 includes expanded hardware support for devices such as display adapters, sound cards, network interface cards, video capture boards, SCSI devices, and color printer drivers (hardware support was a major sticking point with the 3.x releases). Additionally, it is designed to co-exist with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT, featuring keyboard shortcuts that mimic their Windows counterparts, full support within the BeOS for the FAT and FAT32 disk formats, and a free downloadable client for Microsoft Networks, which enables users to connect to, read from and write to Microsoft NT servers and Windows 95 and Windows 98 workstations.

BeOS Release 4 will cost $99.95 when it is released next month, though you can get it for $69.95 from Be's online e-commerce store. I'll be looking at BeOS Release 4 in an upcoming article on the Windows 2000 Supersite

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