BeOS 5: Personal, Pro, and Open Source Announcements
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BeOS 5: Personal, Pro, and Open Source Announcements


No-cost Downloadable Version of Powerhouse Media OS Removes "Barrier of
Choice" for Programmers and Users

MENLO PARK, Calif.--March 28, 2000--Be Incorporated (Nasdaq: BEOS) today
announced the availability of the latest release of its highly-acclaimed
digital media operating system, BeOS 5. The Personal Edition of the
operating system, renowned for its rich media handling capabilities and
ideal for first-time or casual users, is now available at no charge, via
the web at Additionally, BeOS 5 Pro Edition, a
fully-featured version designed for audio and video applications, has also
been made available to third-party publishers in North and South America,
Asia, and soon to follow, Europe.

With the new release, Be is offering a programmers development kit (BeIDE,
or Be Integrated Development Environment) and a library of demonstration
applications at no charge. These development tools aid software developers
in bringing their products to market faster. Additionally, Be is opening
access to its desktop, known as Tracker, and its taskbar, known as Deskbar,
by publishing a software developers kit (SDK) along with the source code.

Since Be announced in January that it would make a version of BeOS
available at no charge via the web, more than 100,000 users have
pre-registered for the download, demonstrating increased interest and
demand in experiencing the power, flexibility and robust media handling
capabilities of BeOS. The interest comes from three user communities:
professionals using Be to manage the creation and editing of audio and
video content; new and casual users who enjoy the richness and ease-of-use
of BeOS; and programmers who want to adapt and personalize the user
experience of BeOS' powerful desktop.

"The launch of BeOS 5 marks an exciting change for Be," said Jean-Louis
Gasse, chairman and chief executive officer of Be. "This is the first time
an operating system as complete, as robust and as easy to install and use
as BeOS 5 has been made available at no charge to the general public. We
have also published much of our 'look and feel' code using an open source
model to make our environment more accessible to programmers."


For the first time, BeOS 5 Personal Edition takes advantage of a remarkable
operating system installation procedure that makes no alteration or
modification to the boot drive. While other operating systems typically
require a repartitioning of a disk drive to make room for the new OS, BeOS
5 Personal Edition simply resides on the disk as a single file. This single
file can be moved or deleted like any Windows file, but when it is double
clicked, it switches control from Windows to BeOS. As a result, the new or
casual user will find the installation process is no more difficult and no
riskier than installing a typical Windows application. BeOS 5 Personal
Edition is compatible with Intel-based PCs and includes HTML-based

BeOS 5 Personal Edition handles an ever increasing number of IDE and SCSI
drives as well as broader PCMCIA and USB support, including digital camera
and IEEE 1394 FireWire video support. BeOS can read virtually every major
audio and video format as well as produce output that can be processed by
most popular applications and devices. Dial-up and LAN-based TCP/IP
networking is available and the OS comes with an Internet browser, an ftp
and telnet server, and AppleTalk support.


The usability of BeOS 5 has been enhanced to include an improved 'find'
panel, spring loaded folders that aid in traversing the desktop and lists
of recent applications and documents. Audio support has been streamlined to
be the fastest in the industry. There is a new MIDI Kit that allows USB and
application-to-application MIDI support. Besides support for MP3, there is
a new media player that can be integrated into the web browser for better
playing of streaming media.


Be has created relationships with four third- party publishers who will add
value, market and distribute BeOS 5 Pro Edition. The Americas will be
supported by Gobe Software of Portland, Oregon, a long-time Be partner.
Asia will be handled by Hitachi, who also has a long history with Be. In
Europe, Be anticipates working with Apacabar (for distribution in France,
Benelux, Spain and Italy) and Koch (for distribution in the United Kingdom,
Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Eastern Europe). These publishers will be
responsible for all pricing and packaging as well as physical and
electronic distribution into retail and other channels. Bundling additional
third-party applications and licensing with OEMs and ISVs, technical
support and customer services will also be handled by Be's channel partners.


The professional features of BeOS 5 Pro Edition allow it to be installed on
both Intel- and Power PC-based machines and has the ability to handle
terabytes of data. Among the list of popular audio and video codecs include
new encoding support for Cinepak, Indeo 5, raw audio, P-JPEG, and MP3. This
coupled with a CD Burner (x86 only) gives BeOS the distinction of having a
virtual "jukebox" built into the OS. Twenty six applications, many of which
are multimedia oriented, are bundled with BeOS 5 Pro Edition by Be and the
third- party publishers may add their own as well.


Demonstrating its strong commitment to supporting the development
community, Be has placed the source code for its desktop user interface in
a site for access by any developer. The move to provide support for the
Open Source movement is designed to increase development and integration of
key applications on BeOS. The Tracker SDK (desktop) and the Deskbar SDK
(taskbar) can be found at the download sites and, respectively.

In addition to the open source, Be is publishing a developer's kit that
includes the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and a rich developer
library consisting of make file scripts, compilers, package builders,
sample code and documentation.


BeOS 5 Personal Edition, the BeOS Developer Kit and demonstration
application packages are available at no charge from as
well as dozens of mirror sites throughout the world. BeOS 5 Pro Edition
will be available in the Americas through Gobe Software, in Asia via
Hitachi, and should be available in Europe through Apacabar, and Koch. Each
publisher will price BeOS 5 Pro Edition independently and based on other
bundled components[FCB1]. Publishers are also responsible for setting the
upgrade policy for existing BeOS users in their territory.
********** END OF RELEASE ONE *************


Developers Now Have Free Access to User Interface Code for Leading
Multimedia Operating System

MENLO PARK, Calif.--March 28, 2000-In association with the availability of
the latest release of its acclaimed digital media operating system, BeOS 5,
Be Incorporated (Nasdaq: BEOS) today announced that it will offer free
access to its source code. The advanced BeOS user interface known as
Tracker (the desktop) and Deskbar (the taskbar) form the user's experience
with the operating system. Be is placing source code for these applications
on the Internet for programmers who want to increase the integration
between their applications and the award-winning architecture of the
multimedia-rich Be system. The source code for Tracker is available at and the source code for the Deskbar is available
at Both websites are operational and available

"We are offering an extremely open and lenient license for our open source
code to provide the freedom for anyone to take this C++ code and use it to
better benefit their development efforts, however they see fit," stated Tim
Self, vice president of product marketing at Be. "The licensing agreement
is based on the updated freeBSD guidelines, to make it easy for developers
to ship their own proprietary products with the time-to-market advantage of
our code. We encourage programmers to further develop the Tracker and the
Deskbar in new, exciting and unforeseen ways. We are excited to see these
incarnations in the near future. Because the Tracker and Deskbar are
complete, shipping, robust applications already, software engineers will
find they have a leg up on developing their own versions."

About Be Incorporated
Founded in 1990, Be Incorporated creates software platforms that enable
rich media and web experiences on personal computers and Internet
appliances. Be's headquarters are in Menlo Park, California, with offices
in Paris and Tokyo. It is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market
under the symbol BEOS. Be can be found on the Web at


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