[MD1] BeOS Release 4
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[MD1] BeOS Release 4

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Be, Inc. Unveils BeOS Release 4 at COMDEX Fall 98
Alternative Operating System Allows Users to Manipulate High-Bandwidth
Digital Media

MENLO PARK, Calif., November 10, 1998 -- Be, Inc. today announced BeOS
Release 4, an operating system designed for digital content creators who
want to manipulate high bandwidth digital media, such as graphics, audio,
and video, in real time on personal computer hardware. The alternative
operating system delivers breakthrough computing power to prosumers who are
doing a variety of multimedia work from creating animated 3D models and
mixing digital audio tracks to editing the latest digital video
masterpiece. BeOS Release 4, designed to co-exist with other operating
systems on the same PC, will debut in Be's booth at COMDEX (Sands
Convention Center/Booth #7114) and ship to customers in early 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 Gasse, chairman and chief executive
officer 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."

Market Opportunity
From 1996 to 1997, worldwide PC/client operating environment shipments for
the Mac OS and Unix declined 15.7% and 7.8%, respectively, according to
market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). IDC believes
that there is an opportunity for BeOS to gain some of this lost market
share, as both of these operating systems traditionally host some
percentage of multimedia applications.

"Release 4 of BeOS is a major milestone in the maturity of BeOS as a
product and for Be, Inc. as a company," said IDC Research Manager William
Peterson. "Be has improved operating system features in preparation for
developers, ISVs, and OEM vendors to evaluate BeOS as an Intel-based
operating system alternative to high-cost graphic workstations. The
company has no intention of competing with Microsoft Windows. Rather, this
release makes it easier for BeOS to live on the same machine as Windows 95,
98, and NT (Windows 2000). IDC believes that with the many new and
advanced technical feature sets included in BeOS Release 4, Be Inc. has
produced an operating system that is prepared to advance past development
systems and onto end-user Intel-based systems in the multimedia market."

Key BeOS Release 4 Features
BeOS Release 4 incorporates several new features that further simplify the
production and manipulation of high bandwidth digital media, including:

The Media Kit
The Media Kit enables users to easily specify complex series of operations
to be performed on streaming media. For example, in a single step a user
could capture video from an external device (such as a camcorder),
decompress the video if necessary, perform filtering operations
(such as changing the brightness or contrast of each frame), recompress the
video stream and save it to his hard disk or to a separate external device.

The Media Kit also benefits developers, making it easier to develop
high-performance, low-latency media applications such as video and audio
editors that interoperate seamlessly with drivers, translators, filters and
other software components developed by third parties.

Expanded Hardware Support
BeOS Release 4 offers significantly expanded support for hardware devices
such as display adapters, sound cards, network interface cards, video
capture boards, SCSI devices, and color printer drivers.
- Audio: SoundBlaster AWE64; Yamaha 715; Crystal 423x; Opti931;
SonicVibes; Lucid
- Video Capture: Intel; Hauppauge; Miro; Avermedia; IXMicro; US Robotics
- Network: DEC (21040); Intel EtherExpress; NE2000 (ISA, PCI); 3Com
(3C90x, 3C503)
- SCSI: BusLogic; Adaptec; Symbios

Improved Windows Compatibility
The BeOS is designed to co-exist with Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows
NT. Several new elements make it easy for customers to use the BeOS in
tandem with Windows. These include: keyboard shortcuts that mimic their
Windows counterparts, immediately allowing users to be productive; full
support within the BeOS for the disk formats used by Windows 95 (FAT16) and
Windows 98 (FAT32), allowing users to read to and write from Windows disks
and partitions; and a client for Microsoft Networks (available free by
download from Be's online store, BeDepot.com), enabling users to connect
to, read from and write to Microsoft NT servers and individual Windows 95
and Windows 98 workstations.

Increased System Performance
The overall performance of BeOS Release 4 has improved by 25-30 percent.
Users working with digital content will find their processing power further
extended, allowing them to create more in less time. Playing two, 30
frames per second video streams while applying effects in real time
without any hardware assistance is an easy task under the BeOS. The BeOS
is a fully symmetric multiprocessing operating system, so users gain nearly
100 percent in increased performance as they move from a single to a dual
processor system.

Internet Capabilities
The core networking functions of the BeOS are built using TCP/IP, the
standard at the heart of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The BeOS was
built from the ground up to be a robust Internet citizen and includes:
bundled services such as an FTP server allowing users to share files from
within the BeOS across the Internet; a Telnet server for remote login; an
easy to configure web server allowing users to publish web pages from the
moment of install; a POP-email client; a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol) client; and a web browser that includes SSL (Secure Sockets
Layer) for secure Internet transactions.

Japanese Input Method
BeOS Release 4J is a separate Japanese version of the operating system
available concurrently with Release 4. A Japanese input method, provided
by ERGOSOFT Corp., allows a user to input Japanese characters into the
BeOS, utilizing the bundled Japanese fonts. Users may do many common tasks
in Japanese, such as email, browsing the web, word processing and printing.

System Requirements, Pricing and Availability
BeOS Release 4 runs on PCs (Intel Architecture or PowerPC) with a minimum
of 16 MB of RAM; 150 MB hard disk or hard disk partition; CD-ROM drive;
keyboard and mouse; built-in or bundled compatible video adapter; multisync
monitor strongly recommended; and network connection via Ethernet or PPP.

BeOS Release 4 will ship to customers next month. The retail price for the
product is $99.95. A special introductory price of $69.95 applies if
purchased over the Internet via Be's online e-commerce store at
All requirements, pricing, and availability information is the same for
BeOS Release 4J.

About Be
Be, Incorporated., founded in 1990 by Jean-Louis Gasse, is a software
company focusing on building new foundations for the next generation of
digital content and media design tools. With a team of industry-leading
engineers and business executives in the United States and Europe, the
company is dedicated to removing the limitations of existing computer
architectures and delivering a new level of price performance. In 1997, Be
published the first public release of the Be Operating System (BeOS), the
core product of this strategy. Additional information on Be and the BeOS is
available online at http://www.be.com/. Be, Inc. is headquartered in Menlo
Park, California.


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