BeOS: The Alternate Universe’s Mac OS X

By Alan Ralph on January 9, 2020 — 1 min read

BeOS: The Alternate Universe’s Mac OS X

You’re likely familiar with the old tale about how Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple and started his own company, NeXT. Apple then bought NeXT and their technologies and brought Jobs back as CEO once again. However, Jobs’ path wasn’t unique, and the history of computing since then could’ve gone a whole lot different.

In 1990, Jean-Louis Gassée, who replaced Jobs in Apple as the head of Macintosh development, was also fired from the company. He then also formed his own computer company with the help of another ex-Apple employee, Steve Sakoman. They called it Be Inc, and their goal was to create a more modern operating system from scratch based on the object-oriented design of C++, using proprietary hardware that could allow for greater media capabilities unseen in personal computers at the time.

I remember BeOS vaguely at the time it first came out, and it seemed really interesting. But the closest I got to it was using Stardock’s Object Desktop suite to re-skin Windows XP back in the 2000s.

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