Be is to preview the first version of its BeOS operating system for the Intel Pentium platform this week, before rolling it out next month. The BeOS will be unveiled at the company's Software Development Conference in San Francisco. The public release of the Intel version will be in March at the Be Developer Conference in San Jose, according to Jean Calmon, vice president of Be Europe. Calmon said a second Pentium release will follow in June or July, to sell for between $50 and $100 (#30-#60). Support for Intel's 486 architecture will follow, but he could not specify when. However, analysts doubt that the new operating system will make any dent on Microsoft's domination of the market. "The BeOS has always been peripheral to the market, and (the Intel release) is another attempt to tackle this," commented Laurent Lachal, analyst at research firm Ovum. The Intel version of the OS, first demonstrated last August, was initially slated to be launched simultaneously with the public release of the PowerPC version of the Media OS last month, but the latter has now been pushed back to April. An emulator for running MacOS software, called SheepShaver, will also be revealed at this week's conference. The software will work with any MacOS 680x0 and PowerPC application that does not access hardware directly, and should run at a similar speed to the MacOS on a PowerPC platform. SheepShaver will only run on PowerPC BeOS machines. There are presently 10 commercial applications for the BeOS, but Calmon claimed there will be between 30 and 50 by June. Currently, 4,500-5,000 independent software developers are registered with Be, although Calmon admitted that out of these, only 500 to 600 are actively developing at the moment.
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