A preview release of Be's operating system will be distributed in special issues of major Macintosh and PowerPC magazines in five countries over the next two months.
The BeOS operating system, which was originally designed for Be-manufactured hardware but has been moved to support PowerPC systems such as Apple Macintosh computers, offers an alternative to the aging Mac OS operating system. Apple itself has been working on a replacement, called Rhapsody, but it is not expected to arrive until early next year.
The Preview Release CD will also include electronic documentation and Metrowerk's CodeWarrior Lite development environment for BeOS. The Metrowerks CodeWarrior environment is a favorite among Mac OS developers, and by providing it Be may be hoping to kindle some software developer interest.
The BeOS Preview Release CD will be distributed in the United States in MacUser magazine. In Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, it will be packaged with MacPower, MACUp, UniversMac, and MacUser UK, respectively.
Be will also take orders for the $10 Preview Release CD at its Web site. For $49.95, users can purchase the BeOS, as well as two future upgrades of the operating system.
Be was founded by Jean-Louis Gassee, a former executive at Apple. The company was seen as a buyout candidate for Apple before its acquisition of Next Software last December.