Here it is the MacBe stuff...

CobraBoy (
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 08:37:17 -0800

It's just a shame that there going to all this work to create NeXTStep
lite, and Job's is sitting in his offices wishing he was rid of it. Oh


Apple plans BeOS future

By Stephen Howard (

Apple and Be Inc. were at the bargaining table this week,
hashing out a deal that
would bring the small Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's OS
into Apple's fold.

Sources said that while terms of a company or software
acquisition are not firm,
Apple already knows how it wants to deploy BeOS.

MacWEEK has learned that the main thrust of Apple's plans is
a merger of the
microkernel from Mac OS 8, formerly code-named Mac OS 8, with
the BeOS
application model. The company reportedly has set late summer
1997 as the
earliest timeframe for an initial delivery of the hybrid OS.
Apple expects to port
key System 7.5 services to this new platform gradually,
sources said.

This merger of Mac OS 8's foundation and the BeOS APIs is a
path that reportedly
sacrifices compatibility with current Mac applications to
gain speed and stability.
By using BeOS technology, the company hopes to gain an elegant,
high-performance operating system that is deeply
object-oriented while offering a
checklist of modern OS services: pre-emptive multi-tasking,
multiprocessing, multithreading and protected memory.

Apple is still investigating whether System 7.5 applications
can run on BeOS
through some form of emulation (see 09.23.96, Page 1).
Sources said such a Mac
OS compatibility box is feasible because Apple has already
developed similar
software for Unix operating systems. However, a BeOS version
might not be
ready by mid-1997.

The timing is important: Apple reportedly believes it can
bring a modified BeOS
to market much faster than it could add competitive services
to the current Mac
OS 8 code. Sources said Apple expects to continue developing
and supporting
System 7.5 for Power Macs and PowerPC Platform machines while
adopting the
bulk of BeOS as its mainstream operating system for the
future. Apple Chief
Technical Officer Ellen Hancock reportedly is leading the
drive for a radical OS
shift and received approval at a meeting of the company's
board of directors in
New York last month.

If Apple strikes a deal with Be, this strategy will replace
the APIs of the Mac
Toolbox and familiar Mac OS capabilities with the all-new
structure of Be's
application model.

BeOS is built around a core set of software servers that
programmers access
through specialized kits. The servers are highly
multithreaded processes for user
interface, multimedia, networking, storage and other
components. The software
kits are object-oriented functions and classes, written
mainly in C++, that access
and control the lower-level servers. The main development
environment for
Be's platform is a BeOS version of CodeWarrior from
Metrowerks Inc. of Austin,

Macintosh developers who have worked with the BeOS said the
software kits are
easier to program for than the Mac OS; the kits were created
whole rather than
expanded over years like the Mac Toolbox, and they have far
fewer capabilities
than System 7. Developers comfortable with C++ repeatedly
described writing
programs for the BeOS as "fun." Some cautioned, however, that
full-featured programs may be no easier on BeOS than Mac OS
developers would need to build some functions from scratch.

Sources said Apple recognizes BeOS is missing many pieces,
such as full support
for international languages, advanced printing and
typography, and a
component-software scheme like OpenDoc. The company's plans
state that Apple
would port QuickTime, ColorSync, WorldScript and other Mac OS
services to the
BeOS application model in response to customer needs. Thus,
the initial release
of a merged Mac OS 8 and BeOS would not include many existing
features of
System 7, sources said. However, the plans do include a
virtual machine to run
Sun Java applets.

Apple reportedly estimates that it could create this initial
combination OS by the
middle of 1997, if a deal is struck between the two companies
this year. Porting
Mac OS services to the new OS would be accomplished in
stages, sources said, and
that effort could take years. Nevertheless, Apple reportedly
believes that getting a
foothold with a competitive modern OS is a short-term market

A longer-term benefit sought by Apple is processor
independence. The BeOS is
written almost entirely in portable code that can be
recompiled easily for different
CPUs. Originally developed for AT&T Corp.'s now-defunct
Hobbit chip, the BeOS
was later ported to the PowerPC. Apple expects to be able to
offer a merged Mac
OS 8-BeOS on Intel chips in the future, sources said.

The foundation of a modern OS is a microkernel, and sources
said Apple thinks
its home-grown Mac OS 8 version, called NuKernel, is
better-suited to the
company's products and strategic goals than Be's.

According to previous public statements by Apple, the Mac OS
8 microkernel, like
Be's, will provide symmetric, pre-emptive multitasking,
multithreading and
protected memory. However, these services will be unavailable
to older System 7
applications running under Mac OS 8.

Apple's original Mac OS 8 designs required third-party
software and large
elements of the Mac OS to be rewritten to take advantage of
the modern services
in NuKernel. Even then, only faceless background tasks were
to be pre-emptively
multitasked and run in protected memory; any portions of the
OS or applications
that presented a graphical interface to users would be
cooperatively multi-tasked
and share one memory space (see 11.28.94, Page 1). Swapping
the Mac Toolbox
and other elements of Mac OS 8 for the BeOS application model
reportedly will
free up NuKernel for use by all software.

The existing BeOS microkernel offers the same core benefits
as Mac OS 8's;
however, sources said Mac OS 8's plug-and-play recognition of
new hardware and
its power management on portable systems are the areas where
Apple feels its
microkernel is superior.

Apple has said that Mac OS 8 was designed for flexibility and
that its support for
Open Firmware boot code and drives make it easier for Mac
clone makers to
implement new hardware features. Hardware plug and play is
seen as crucial to
the adoption of the Mac OS on PowerPC Platform machines,
which are due to
ship in 1997. Sources said Be is working on a PowerPC
Platform version of its OS,
including Open Firmware, but Apple's work is largely finished.

In addition, Apple reportedly is building its microkernel
with PowerBooks in
mind, adding power management at the lowest levels; sources
said Be's
microkernel has no power-saving modes.

Noting the relatively small technical differences between the
two microkernels,
some observers familiar with Apple's plans suggested that the
company was
retaining its Mac OS 8 foundation to save face. Without it,
Apple would be
abandoning all the fruits of its Mac OS 8 development.

Such political and personal considerations are crucial while
continue between Be and Apple. Sources said the two companies
have accelerated
discussions in the past two weeks, and the focus now rests on
the role of Be staff,
including CEO Jean-Louis Gassee. The previous head of Apple's
development reportedly is deeply ambivalent about returning
to the halls of
Cupertino, a feeling shared by many Be programmers who are
also Apple
veterans. Be is also reluctant to hand over BeOS source code
to Apple
programmers. Sources said Apple is considering forming a new
group, separate
from its current AppleSoft OS team, to house the BeOS and
current Be

Terms of a deal are reportedly being negotiated directly by
Apple's Hancock with
Gassee and Be director David Marquardt, a founder of
venture-capitalist firm
August Capital. Said to be a key figure in the Apple-Be
relationship, Marquardt
owns a large number of Be shares and sits on the boards of
Microsoft Corp. and
several other Mac and Windows companies.

Along with an Apple deal, Be is courting Mac companies to
port to its OS. Sources
said San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe Systems Inc. is working on
a Be version of
Photoshop. In addition, Be has reportedly pursued the
Berkeley, Calif.-based
StarNine division of Quarterdeck Corp. to port its WebStar
Internet server to the
new OS. Apple sees these two applications in particular as
important in
establishing a new merged-OS platform, sources said.

Apple and Be declined to comment.


Dole/Kemp 96 ________________________ Like A Ghost Breeze Through The Eucalyptus Trees, Nostalgia's Wake Of Melancholy Reverie Clouds The Shitty Past With Tear-Jerking Slop About A Time When Mediocrity And Conformity Were Next To Godliness

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