Aiming to become a Mac powerhouse, Be may license its operating system to Motorola and IBM.
The company--which was courted by Apple (AAPL) but ultimately passed over in favor of Next Software--is planning to announce a deal tomorrow with Motorola (MOT) to bundle the BeOS with the Motorola Mac clones, according to a Motorola spokesperson.
Be in fact plans to demonstrate the BeOS running on Motorola StarMax boxes tomorrow at MacWorld Expo in Japan, a Be representative said.
The Motorola computers will actually continue to come pre-loaded with the Mac OS. Motorola will ship the BeOS on a separate CD-ROM, according to the plan. This will give users the option to opt for the BeOS as an alternative to the Macintosh OS, the Motorola spokesperson said.
Motorola is expected to ship the CD-ROM with all StarMax 3000 and 4000 systems. The 3000 series uses the 603e PowerPC processor, while the 4000 series is based on the high-performance 604e processor.
Be has already announced a similar deal with Mac clone maker Power Computing. Be says such pacts with Motorola are actually better for the company than if Apple had bought the operating system because Motorola is an Apple partner in developing the Macintosh's PowerPC chips.
Be announced last month that it was getting out of the hardware business to concentrate on developing its Mac operating system and other software.
Dawn Yoshitake contributed to this report