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After 16 Years of Development, The First Beta of Haiku is Finally Here

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Haiku’s history begins with the now defunct Be Inc. Be Inc was founded by former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée after he was ousted by CEO John Sculley. Gassée wanted to create a new operating system from the ground up. BeOS was created with digital media work in mind and was designed to take advantage of the most modern hardware of the time. Originally, Be Inc attempted to create their own platform encompassing both hardware and software. The result was called the BeBox. After BeBox failed to sell well, Be turned their attention to BeOS.

In the 1990s, Apple was looking for a new operating system to replace the aging Classic Mac OS. The two contenders were Gassée’s BeOS and Steve Jobs’ NeXTSTEP. In the end, Apple went with NeXTSTEP. Be tried to license BeOS to hardware makers, but in at least one case Microsoft threatened to revoke a manufacturer’s Windows license if they sold BeOS machines. Eventually, Be Inc was sold to Palm in 2001 for $11 million. BeOS was subsequently discontinued.

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