A Mac clone manufacturer has beaten Apple to a deal with Be Inc.
Power Computing will bundle Be Inc's newly developed BeOS with its entire Mac clone line in the first quarter next year.
This is not the first time Power Computing has managed to beat Apple in the race to bring new Power Mac technology to market. In August, for example, Power Computing became the first Mac vendor to ship a PowerPC system with Motorola's latest CPUs. Apple has yet to ship a system with the 225MHz PowerPC 604e processor.
Texas-based Power Computing will continue to preload the MacOS but will include the multithreaded, symmetric multiprocessing-capable BeOS on a CD-ROM with all five desktop product lines.
Be Inc has been at the centre of rumours regarding a deal with Apple that could see the MacOS replaced by Be Inc's OS. In recent weeks, industry sources have said talks between the two companies are at a stand-off because Be Inc is looking for four times the $100 million Apple has offered.
Last month Apple acknowledged it was looking outside for a new OS but declined to be more precise.
Talking at Apple Expo in London early last month, Ellen Hancock, chief technology officer at Apple, said talks between the two companies were nothing more than routine chats they regularly have with developers.
However, she made no effort to dispel the rumours.
This deal makes an Apple/Be Inc tie-up more likely than ever. It puts Power Computing in a very strong position should Apple decide to replace the MacOS with the BeOS. As a Mac licensee, Power Computing obviously has a very close working relationship with Apple. It is only natural to assume it has an inkling of what Apple is up to.
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