Man, I thought I was on top of news this morning, but IsComputerOn beat me to it.
BeOS, or at least the intellectual property that was once known as BeOS, has shifted owners again. As stated in this press release, it seems a Japanese company, Access has purchased PalmSource (not Palm, the hardware portion that was known as PalmOne).
What does this mean for BeOS? Likely, Absolutely Nothing. What does it mean for PalmSource and the PalmOS? Seems they want to infuse development of the OS with an influx of cash. What does this mean to yellowTab and Zeta? Remains to be seen. But since yT had an existing agreement with Be, Inc. for developing and distributing BeOS prior to Palm’s Be, Inc. buyout, and the license remained, I’d venture to guess that the license will still stand for yT.
Microsoft paid Be, Inc. $23,250,000 to avoid going to trial on antitrust violations. Be was destroyed by Microsoft’s antitrust violations. Be sued Microsoft after selling all assets to Palm Inc. Microsoft gave them approximately 1/1739th of their cash reserve to drop their lawsuit. Be accepted, calling the offer fair. Be, Inc. is now completely, utterly, and totally dead, and Dan can move on to other concerns.
An interesting note from Jason Christie for all you with supposedly defunct Be stock -
…my BeOS stock has quietly doubled in price recently. It’s at .23, right now. At any rate, it’s gone from $90 worth to $170. I thought it was off the market?
Sure, now that we’ve finally removed the ticker from this site!
Be, Inc. will cease to be on March 15th, according to a statement released today on their website. Be will remain as a corporate entity for 3 years after that date, or longer by decree of the Delaware Court of Chancery. This extended time is to be used only for prosecution or defense of lawsuits, and for disposing of assets and closing the business.
It is sad to see Be go, but it will be sweet if they defeat microsoft. And sweeter still if we are all running OpenBeOS when they do. So long, and thanks for all the.. um.. lack of hourglasses? little armless people icons? hmm… Ah yes. So long, and thanks for all the joy you put back into my computing life. It was a great run.
To stop all the rumour-mongering about JLG going to Palm, here’s a little news bit submitted by Galley_SimRacer in the forums. JLG will be heading up Computer Access Technology Corp, as reported by MercuryCenter/News.
Meesa Back! Hope all had a safe and happy holidays.
Foggy submitted this link that our fearless leader has stepped down from the CEO and President positions of Be, Inc., and Dan Johnston, Be’s General Counsel, will now act as Be’s President during the dissolution process. Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, as it was in the buyout agreement that JLG would step down by Dec 31st, and he has. But there’s just something about it being official now that just doesn’t get my nipples hard.
And if you don’t get the “fearless leader” and “nipple” references… just nevermind - newBe! (Yes, I’m feeling frisky now that the hangover is wearing off)
Dave Haynie, CTO of Merlancia Multimedia Systems, in the last minute fury of mailing list talk just before the servers were shut down, posted a little prospective history of his own with BeOS. For those of you out there that might not remember, Dave Haynie was _very_ involved with the Amiga, to say the least, and Merlancia plans on releasing some pretty impressive PPC systems out there that will run, among other things, BeOS R5 PPC. While he still sounds positive about Merlancia offering BeOS on their systems, only time will tell - as the future of any form of BeOS is still very much up in the air. We’ll keep you posted if we get any more information on that topic, of course.
“Read more” for Dave’s letter to BeOS Developers.
Scottmc alerted our forum members to a couple of articles concerning Palm and their plans for the use of Be’s IP as well as the engineers that Palm has now working for them. The first article is an interview with David Nagel at the Software Development Times. The second article is from OS Opinion and talks of Palm releasing a 32-bit OS based off of the BeOS/IA code base to be released in the second half of 2002. Keep in mind that this is just speculation.
What this means for the BeUnited initative is still anyone’s guess.
Well, shareholders voted yesterday to disolve Be, Inc. and sell all of its IP to Palm, Inc. While some belive this marks the end of BeOS (which it likely does, considering Be, Inc. likely won’t exist in 2 months), BeUnited believes this could be the beginning of a new era in the life of the OS. (Disclaimer: I am a core member of the BeUnited Co-Operative)
BeUnited has already been in touch with Palm and has been waiting for the shareholder vote to begin the negotiations for the OS. They hope to license the source from Palm, and continue it’s development… rapidly updating the OS to modern hardware standards, as well as fixing core OS issues and expanding the rest of the already superior OS base. And people outside the community have noticed.
Meanwhile, JLG and the remaining few at Be, Inc. are looking into the possiblity of a lawsuit against Microsoft, according to a transcript of the recent shareholder conference call.
To end on an up note (as if suing Microsoft isnt fun enough), it seems that none of this turmoil has deterred Jason Vandermark, formerly of BeOSCentral. He just launched a brand new, and quite nice, BeOS Community news site… TotallyBe.
It seems that Be’s new home may be made of straw. Palm’s CEO has resigned as of Thursday night. This leaves what some view as a sinking ship drifting helplessly, while BeOS is tied to the mast wondering what will happen. Cheesy metaphors aside, this aint good folks.
Meanwhile, reports are eeking out that Nov.27th will bring lay offs of 300 to 400 Palm employees. This has not been confirmed, but seems reliable. Hopefully the newly migrated Be engineers will survive the cut.
Meanwhile, Monday brings the vote on the future of Be’s assets. That will seal the fate of BeOS one way or another.. ripped apart by creditors, or lost in the palm whirlwind. Neither seems all that great.. but things have been known to survive whirlwinds.
So where does this leave the BeUnited movement to license the OS from Palm? Exactly where it was before. When/If the deal goes through (VOTE YES!), BeUnited will contact the new owners (Palm) and attempt to reach a licensing agreement with them regarding the BeOS source. If that licensing agreement fails, BeUnited has backup plans for saving the OS, but would like to attempt licensing the real source first, as it will ensure the quickest and most reliable release of the next BeOS.
Hold on tight folks.. things are getting crazy.
Be has announced a special shareholder meeting on November 12th to vote on the sale of Be’s complete assets to the ECA Subsidiary Acquisition Company, a wholly owned Palm subsidiary, and then dissolving what remains of Be, Inc. In other words, this is the vote for how Be dies. Do they sell it all to palm where it may live on, or do they retain ownership, and go out of business, leaving their assets to be divided up and destroyed by creditors. My vote will go for Palm. The least I can do is let JLG pick the final resting place.
Well, BeOS Journal has the scoop… Palm has officially said that there will not be any continued development of BeIA - in response to the other news item - Sony is buying back all eVilla systems and has discontinued it, due to the fact that it has not performed well, and supposedly has nothing to do with Palm acquiring Be’s IP. Head over to BeOS Journal to read the stories and get the relevant links.
Well, at least they didn’t say BeOS - yet. And to answer Ryan’s question if anyone bought Qubit’s BeIA devices… the BeIA devices at Qubit never made it to market before being replaced with CE ones. I can say that BeIA, for what it’s worth now, was one peice of cool technology that could’ve been, but never was.
Palm has purchased Be, Inc for $11 million dollars. (Press Release: Palm | Be) Several articles (C|Net 1,2, ZDNet) are around the net about it, and ZDNet says that Palm has no intention of developing BeOS as a stand alone OS. That means, no more BeOS. All that possibility is going to be stuck on a small handheld screen powering a datebook. Admittedly, an impressive Palm should show up in a few years, and I will probably want one. But not as bad as I want Be (or now, Palm) to finish the QA on the almost completed, completely skinnable, BONE, OpenGL, and new media_server having, R6. This announcement is prety big, and I am sure we havent heard everything yet, but it leads pretty quickly to a conclusion that many have been trying to avoid for quite a while.
What can we possibly do to keep BeOS alive? Well, in all likelyhood, nothing. Be sold for next to nothing to Palm, who are going to rip apart the best stuff ever, and use it to get a lead on the competition (which, surprise surprise, happens to be microsoft, just like in everything else.)
Maybe a letter writing campaign to palm is in order? Just start firing away about how much we want them to keep our OS alive? They could probably GPL the whole non-licensed part of the code without damaging the palm business at all. Or maybe they license it openly for use (not selling) on non-handheld devices. All of this is fairly doubtful.
Whats our best option? A group of people who license the code from Palm, and use it to continue development of the desktop OS as a GPOS, with the side effect that palm gets free maintenance of their OS development platform. This also is relatively unlikely in the current market, but could happen. In fact, I really hope it does. OS/2 found new life (sorta) in eComStation. Why can’t BeOS?
We at BeGroovy have always said we will stick around as long as BeOS does. It looks like that day may be coming much sooner than we thought. We are going to hold out as long as possible, and see what happens with the OS, before we go. Who knows, this could end up being the start of a whole new thing. I think we will have to wait and see. Thats something we have been doing for quite a while already.
What are your thoughts on this huge announcement?
Everyone and their cousin sent in links the register article claiming Be has found a buyer. The article mentions Sony in relation to BeIA, and says the recent layoffs were a condition of the merger. One reader went so far as to submit this link to a Palm press release as support for his theory of a Palm takeover. This wouldn’t be too far fetched, since Sony already licenses PalmOS for it’s Clie… why not the eVilla too? And JLG is on the 3Com Board of Directors, which Palm was previously a subsidiary of. That said, there is a chance that Sony could buy Be directly, as they would be the most affected by their closing. And if you want to talk about speculation, let’s talk about Nokia and Apple. I have heard pretty convincing explanations about both of them. The potentials have been gathered for a while. Soon it will be time to see which of them actually won.
Be, Inc today announced that they would be eliminating 28 positions, which account for 33% of their workforce. Positions cut include the entire sales & marketing departments, as well as some administration and engineering positions. The remaining employees are “primarily engaged in product development.”
In fairness, this could be a bid to raise the value of the company by any means neccessary so the selling price is higher. Or, it could just be desperation. What do you think?
Be announced its Q2 earnings today. The revenue returns of $715,000 are better than last quarter and the same time last year, but still are not very high. That said, Be took another restructuring charge of $143,000 this quarter, and completed the changes. Perhaps now that the restructuring is done, revenues can grow. Of course, we may never know. Be is for sale. Cheap.
Ok. So here are the pics that were promised of the eVilla at PC Expo. I took about 12, but only 6 or so were actually usable, due to the crappy nature of my camera, the extreme lighting of the show, and the distortion of the screen (which turns out to be because the evilla was next to a closed room housing the 20 servers for the booth. The most exciting thing I noticed was that the eVilla seems to take pride in the fact that it uses BeIA, and the fact that BeOS still shows through. Read on to see what I mean.
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