Be Inc, the company around which most speculation on an OS technology deal with Apple had focused, has vowed to press on with a high-performance multimedia "bit-flinging" OS for Power Mac and PowerPC Platform computers.
In a letter to Be users, founder Jean-Louis Gassee says Apple's acquisition of Next "probably makes sense, given that one of the key goals of Apple is to focus its efforts more clearly on the enterprise/large business/MIS marketplace, where Microsoft and Netscape are now the recognised leaders.
"As I think everyone in our industry does, we wish Apple well and congratulate the company on the return of Steve Jobs to the fold, even if in a limited capacity."
Gasse acknowledges that his company had "many" discussions with Apple, "about the software markets in general, and about Apple's strategies moving forward. As the official announcements are now being made, it's a bit clearer in public that Apple's goals and market focus going forward differ from ours.
"We at Be have long stated that what gets us up in the morning has more to do with performance, digital media and interactive design - the 'bit-flingers' - than with the traditional office automation market.
"As a smaller company, more akin to the majority of software developers than to the titan firms of the enterprise markets, we understand that focus is the key to delivery of the goods - software CDs in developers' and customers' hands. Today. And that's what we will continue to do."
The letter goes on to note that the Be offices have taken delivery of a large order of CDs containing the BeOS for PowerMac CDs. These contain version DR8 of the software and will be given away to all current BeBox owners, to purchasers Metrowerks' Code Warrior for BeOS development software, and to subscribers of MacTech Magazine. Be is looking at other methods of distribution in the New Year. Both IBM and Motorola, the manufacturers of the PowerPC chip, will be demonstrating the BeOS on their hardware at the Macworld Expo, when Appple CEO Gil Amelio will also flesh out his company's new OS strategy.