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BeOS Release 4!


This week we announced BeOS Release 4, and so this week's Tip is about how to learn more about it, and includes some details not found elsewhere (otherwise it wouldn't be a Tip, right? ;-).

First of all, you can read the press release:

Be, Inc. Unveils BeOS Release 4 at COMDEX Fall '98

Or, perhaps you could skip it. It's terrific if you're a reporter looking for a story, but for people who are already using the BeOS, there are better sources which contain much more information. The first thing most current BeOS users will probably want to know is...

What's new?

That question is easy to answer, as we've written a fairly detailed document that lists the changes:

What's New in BeOS Release 4

The next thing you might be asking is...

When can I get it?

The short answer is "early December;" that's what's in the press release. The complete answer is longer, but pretty much the same.

Be will be finishing the "golden master" BeOS Release 4 CD very soon, and sending it off to the duplicators. Manuals, boxes, floppies, and other things will also take time to print, assemble, etc. This ends up pushing the time when customers can get their hands on the actual product by about 3-4 weeks, more or less. Then we can start sending out CDs, filling orders, etc. So, it won't be until the first or second week of December at least before people get their CDs. But it should be before Christmas -- at least, we're aiming to let people play with R4 over the holidays. :-)

Of course, now you want to know...

How do I get it?

That all depends on who you are, and/or how you got your existing copy of the BeOS:

  • If you bought BeOS Release 3 on or after October 15, 1998, you're entitled to a free upgrade. If you bought it from Be, we'll send it to you automatically. If you bought it elsewhere, we'll need you to submit proof of purchase date, stay tuned for details.

  • If you're a Registered BeOS User, and you bought the Preview Release 2, you need do nothing. Be will automatically send you the free upgrade which you purchased as part of the "subscription" program. This is your final free upgrade.

    Make sure you're shipping address is up-to-date, by visiting the Registered User area of the Be web site, and updating your shipping address if necessary.

  • If you're a Registered BeOS User, and you bought either the Preview Release 1 or BeOS Release 3, you will be able to take advantage of the special upgrade price of $25. You'll be able to order your upgrade via You cannot order the upgrade yet, so check back in a week or so.

  • If you're a CodeWarrior owner, and you're owed another release of CodeWarrior, Be is providing the BeOS Release 4 CD, which contains the complete development environment (gcc on Intel, CodeWarrior on PowerPC), instead of an additional CodeWarrior release. You will receive this automatically.

  • If you're a Registered Be Developer, in the Small Commercial or Corporate program (or were in the old Be Developer Program), we'll be sending you your CD automatically, just as soon as they're duplicated.

    Make sure you're shipping address is up-to-date, by visiting the Registered Developer area of the Be web site, and updating your shipping address if necessary.

  • If you got your copy of the BeOS from the O'Reilly & Associates Be Developer Guide, have the BeOS Demo CD, or received a BeOS CD for free in a magazine or some other promotion, you'll need to buy BeOS Release 4. You'll be able to do that from, at the same time we start taking orders for upgrades.

Stay tuned for many, many announcements about Be and the BeOS, centered around Comdex in Las Vegas. The Be home page will have the latest details and notes, so check it regularly for the next week or so.

And that's it for this week. The Be Tip Guy heads to Comdex next week, so no Tip on the web site. But if you're in Las Vegas, we're showing BeOS Release 4 in the Be booth, so stop by for a personal demonstration of the Tip coming in two weeks. Until then, have fun!

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