Start up operating system vendor Be is planning a European offensive, looking to expand its team with key people to drum up the support of developers.
The company, which is about to go public, presently has 100 employees worldwide - but only seven are in Europe. Be's operating system, the BeOS, is an alternative PC operating system tailored for digital multimedia.
Be's aim is to expand its European workforce to 25 before the end of 2000. The first three European positions to be filled are a developer evangelist, a Web content and demonstration manager, and a developer technical support engineer.
A Be spokesperson said the first two positions are aimed at "serving ISVs to create collaboration between us and them," whilst the third is "a classic webmaster's role."
Increasing developer support is vital to Be's success according to Kirsten Ludvigsen, analyst at IDC.
She said the company faces "an uphill struggle. Digital media applications are a niche market and they will have problems getting sufficient numbers of followers. They need ISV support and developers behind them."
Martin Reynolds, Dataquest analyst said that BeOS "is good but lacks applications."
The spokeswoman responded: "Our main mission is to get applications on BeOS. It is true that we do not have the number of applications that run on Windows as we do not have the legacy code in the operating system for backward compatibility. All our applications are written from the ground up with the digital market in mind."
IDC's Ludvigsen said that Be is "in the same space as Linux" but "they have not got the hype and they are in dire need of a services organisation."
The spokesperson countered: "We are not in the same space. Linux is open source and is more an operating system for servers. We write our operating system, document and provide services around it."
"Our positioning is at the client. We are a creativity platform with no word or excel. Our market is the professional consumer who wants multimedia applications that create any audio or video content and Web publishing. We will also be moving into the WebTV space."
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