On 28 March, Be will ship the next version of its BeOS operating system, which is capable of manipulating audio and video on a desktop PC.
The free version of BeOS 5 Personal Edition will be available for download on that date at free.be.com. Users can launch BeOS by double-clicking an icon on the desktop; the OS is stored as a file within Microsoft's Windows operating system, freeing users from having to repartition their hard drive, Be officials said.
Sometime after March, Be will ship the BeOS 5 Pro Edition, a full-featured version bundled with additional applications and services for advanced functionality. The Pro Edition will be available from a third-party vendor, officials said.
Approximately 100,000 users have preregistered for the free download since Be announced in January that it would make a version of BeOS available on its Web site.
Be officials would not comment on applications in BeOS 5 Personal and Pro Editions. Neither would they comment on what third parties will distribute the Pro Edition.