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BeIA can go to Hell

Right now, there is a lot of hype about the so-called Internet Appliance, hence the IA in BeIA. These products are supposed to be easy to use and convenient for accessing the Internet.

Some examples of an IA are a kitchen PC or a web pad. Also a possibility is console systems for TVs. Do these products sound exciting to you? No? They don’t to me either.

Let’s take the kitchen PC for example. Who in the hell is going to want to mess around with a computer in their kitchen while they are preparing food and trying to do other things? Nobody. Some might say, “Well, you can look up recipes.” That is really dumb. If you want a recipe off the Internet, a person is going to want to look it up on the computer, print it out, buy ingredients at the store, and come back to make it. How is this Kitchen PC going to enhance this process? It doesn’t, as it is not even a part of it.

Someone else might say, “Well, you can order groceries over the Internet.” Now, isn’t it better to walk to the other room, sit down in a comfortable chair, and use a real computer to do the task? I think it is what I would do, if in fact buying groceries over the Internet ever becomes popular. Can you imagine a Mrs. Smith out in Iowa buying groceries off the Internet? No, and she stands for the vast majority of the country.

Now let’s look at the Web Pad. This device would basically be a tablet with an LCD screen. It would use a wireless connection to access the Internet. First off, wireless access to the Internet is not exactly cheap and available, and is not going to be for a long time. Hell, the vast majority of people cannot even get a broadband Internet connection for their PC now, let alone wireless Internet soon.

Another reason why the Web Pad sucks is its product design. You cannot type, as there is only handwriting recognition, which we all know is not great, and probably never will be. So basically, a device such as this is not good for work, nor will it have common access to the Internet any time soon. Besides, my PDA can do enough for me when I am away from the PC.

Finally, let’s look at the TV console. We all know about the ideas behind this, and we have seen the Web TV, the game consoles, etc. Now all these little companies are trying to get in on the action, which will prove to be fruitless in competition with the big name companies.

The only opening for BeIA is for it to be run on a big name console system. We should use Nintendo here for an example, because I have heard about some contacts between them and Be. Now, if Nintendo wants to make a product that does gaming, Internet, multimedia, and DVD playback, the BeIA would be an excellent choice. If Be cannot get a major contract in this sector within six months, they should just give up because by that time the MS X-Box systems will be about ready to come out, and all the other big console companies will have their designs set. Be should not waste their time with small, but hopeful companies.

Be wants to catch a ride on the Internet Appliance wave. The sad thing is, it will be nothing more than a ripple. I can give you four sectors where the Internet is really going to matter: PCs and notebooks, PCS/PDA devices, servers (business to business), and integrated devices that have no user interaction. I cannot see how these so-called Internet appliances will fit into the puzzle. They just are not very useful, and will likely be costly, as all the designs I have seen require LCDs and other small, expensive parts. They are nothing but toys.

Be, I’ll give you six months to nail down a huge contract, such as with Nintendo. If it don’t happen, please change your focus back to us, the original Be customers and supporters. There is a lot of promise in BeOS and the desktop; just look at the numbers on downloads of BeOS 5. People are interested, and it is your job to keep them that way by advancing the product as fast as possible.

I know I lost some interest as soon as I learned the truth about what BeOS 5 really was, a fake upgrade. There is nothing really new there, just some new apps, and a new number on the box.

Right now there is confusion in the BeOS community. I can feel it. We don’t know what to make of BeIA. BeMagazine got suddenly killed because of Be’s change in direction. Most of all, many new people have been invited into our community through the free BeOS 5, yet there is no REAL reason for them to stay. We all know it is true, and Be is not making it any better with their recent behaviors.

Be, come back soon or go to hell!

Eric Murphy
00/05/07

 





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