Be Inc’s COO, Steve Sakoman, has issued an open letter confirming that the company’s computer OS is still alive and kicking. Previous comments from the company had led users to believe that BeOS development was being wound down in favour of BeIA, Be’s platform for embedded devices such as WAP phones, PDAs and set-top boxes.
Sakoman states that: "it’s true that we are focusing much of our resources on the Internet appliance market. However, as our development environment for BeIA, BeOS is an important part of our strategy moving forward, and we intend to continue enhancing it."
With future development in mind Sakoman announced new technologies that will be added to future versions of BeOS – although no launch dates were forthcoming. However, he did note that the port of the Opera 4.0 Web browser will be finished in the coming months.
Apart from Opera, the main two additions to the next version of BeOS will be improved networking tools and support for Java2 Standard Edition. BeOS Networking Environment (BONE) is a complete rewrite of the OS’s network stack and gives a 20x network performance boost from the current version, according to Sakoman. Java2 Standard Edition will allow, for example, BeOS users to perform online tasks such as banking or using Hotmail accounts.
Future developments also include "significant improvements" to the Media Kit and OpenGL, with support for hardware accelaration from Matrox and 3dfx on the cards. Also announced was Robin Hood, a faster and more scalable Web server, and support for cgi-bin.