PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 20, 1999--Be Incorporated today announced
that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Compaq Computer Corporation
that allows Compaq to pre-install and distribute Stinger, the code name for
Be's software platform for Internet appliances, on future Internet Appliance
computing devices under development in Compaq's Consumer Products Division.
The parties are currently working together on joint development and sales initiatives
in connection with this licensing agreement. The agreement is not exclusive
for either party and does not contain any minimum purchase commitments on the
part of Compaq.
is Be's software solution designed for the creation of appliances that deliver
information and entertainment over the web. Based on BeOS, Stinger is fully
customizable, offers a complete browser and supports popular streaming audio
and video standards.
support gives Be a big boost toward the mindshare battleground presently occupied
by Windows and Linux. Although BeOS is still considered primarily a small-system
OS by many, its robustness is winning converts. We expect the BeOS market to
grow at a slower pace than Linux has due to a combination of Linux's greater
application breadth and marketing buzz.
benefits to Compaq are less tangible. Providing another OS option means Compaq
has the potential to increase sales by reaching BeOS-philes. In addition, it
will provide some leverage IN Compaq's dealings with Microsoft. However, Compaq
runs the risk of losing its marketing focus, as it has done in the last two
years with its channel distribution strategy. By promoting BeOS as a pre-install,
Compaq must now build up its support services in this area - not an insurmountable
task, but not a simple one either. We do not see this as a big threat to Microsoft,
yet. However, this may provide Microsoft sufficient additional competition to
cause headaches for Redmond.
Large corporate users should adopt a wait and see attitude on this issue. BeOS
is still not a "mature" OS, which we define here as an OS that has broad application
support and a significant installed base (>5% of shipping OSes in this market
space). Although BeOS has a loyal following, the BeOS community is still significantly
smaller than the Linux community. Since this ubiquity is perceived as a key
Linux benefit, the relative paucity diminishes BeOS's benefits. We expect this
to change within one to two years, especially if Red Hat buys Be, Inc, as has
been recently rumored.
users who stand to gain from BeOS's strengths in running Internet appliances
and audio/video applications should still consider it, and should view this
announcement positively because, as mentioned above, BeOS now has the support
of a major player.