The end of Zeta

It is of course very sad, but it’s not like we didn’t expect it: Zeta is dead. It’s even of a great surprise that YellowTAB managed to be alive for almost 5 years before they went belly up.

One could argue that the future of BeOS lies with Haiku. But the reality is, the future of BeOS doesn’t even exist. The “operating system days” where several hobby/alternative OSes made the round in the news outlets are long gone. Linux has taken that 3rd place in the OS market and nobody gives a shit anymore about OSes like SkyOS, Syllable, ReactOS or Haiku. These OSes make a much smaller impact today than they used to do back in 2001.

This is why I tried to drive OSNews away from OSes and more into the general technology campground. There is no money to be made in operating system [news] anymore.

UPDATE: Why do people get so defensive? It’s the truth when I say that hobby OSes don’t have the same impact in the news outlets and in mindshare compared to what they used to have in the past. So, why come over here, in my personal blog, in DROVES to defend your favorite pet OS? This does not change the FACT that FEWER people care about these OSes now than they used to in the past and that this is mostly Linux’s fault. If you want to be HELPFUL, try raising awareness by making your pet OS USEFUL, not coming over here in an organized manner (just like soccer hooligans go to smash stuff) to prove me wrong. I am not wrong. I ran OSNews and BeNews for almost 10 years now. I see the TRENDS of what’s hip and what’s not. YOU don’t. So, get fucking over it and get a life. This discussion is over, because simply I am not interested debating the fact that earth revolves around the sun. If you have any questions, simply email me (don’t reply on this blog).


Tom Dison wrote on April 2nd, 2007 at 7:31 AM PST:

Well, I hope he does give the Zeta source to Haiku. I realize that is probably the end of any commercial Beos aspirations, but at least Haiku could continue the lineage. Mostly likely, though, it’s the end. I think the same for Amiga and OS/2, despite the presence of Amiga OS/4 (sort of!) and EComstation (worst name ever!). There is a difference between small emerging OS’s and small dying ones.

Don’t forget BSD as a solid 4th (not counting OSX). There are a lot of big websites using one of the BSD’s.

In reality, I think there are only 2 OS’s out there – Unix-based like Mac,Linux,BSD,Solaris(4 or 5?) and the single non-Unix based Windows. I honestly believe the best thing that could happen to Windows is to get a new kernel like Mac did. Probably won’t happen due to pride and the risk of losing an ongoing cash cow.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 2nd, 2007 at 7:37 AM PST:

>I hope he does give the Zeta source to Haiku.

I am not sure he can do that legally, without at least getting authorization from Access — who they don’t even care picking up the phone.

>Don’t forget BSD as a solid 4th

While BSD is indeed 4th, it does not matter anymore. BSD lost the race for being a platform that mattered about 3 years ago.

Except the big-3 OSes, the rest just don’t matter anymore. This was not the case up to 5 years ago. The fact that Linux became bigger and had many distros (and so newbies thought they were downloading a different OS each time) has completely destroyed interest for other OSes. They just don’t care anymore.

Tom Dison wrote on April 2nd, 2007 at 8:32 AM PST:

What about Solaris? They seem to be getting a lot of buzz lately. Maybe Bruce Perens can stir up some community over there. I’m waiting for a Developer Kit I ordered from them a while back. I know a lot people still use Solaris servers. Don’t know if there is much call for the desktop. Specifically, the version of Express on the CD I ordered is supposed to have greatly improved laptop support. That’s what I am going to test. I’m not holding out a lot of hope, considering how bad it is with Linux.

As for BSD, I really like OpenBSD on older laptops. However, I know I don’t count as a normal OS user.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 2nd, 2007 at 8:40 AM PST:

Solaris lost a lot of its mind/market share to Linux, as the rest of Unix did.

JC wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 1:02 AM PST:

Eugenia — You seem to be seriously interested in mobile devices, specifically cellphones. Why not start a ‘OSNews for Cellphones’ type site?

Shawn wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 1:20 AM PST:

[q]Solaris lost a lot of its mind/market share to Linux, as the rest of Unix did.[/q]

That is only true in the consumer market. Sun still has a huge following in scientific, aerospace, and other specialised fields.

Not only that, Sun has one thing going for them that no other UNIX does: innovation.

No one in their right mind would deny that things like ZFS, DTrace, Solaris Containers (Zones), and other technologies are not innovative.

Not only that, they’re the last commercially viable UNIX (Mac OS X is not yet certified UNIX), which puts them in a good position.

With good performance, good hardware (see recent Intel deal), better pricing than competitors like RedHat for OS support, innovative hardware solutions (such as Black Box) and proof that they’re willing to join with the community (Java, OpenSolaris, OpenOffice, etc.) they have a bright future if they stay the course.

mikesum32 wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 3:46 AM PST:

@Tom Dison
I’m almost 100 percent sure Bernd can’t give away the Zeta source. He can probably give away the source to the code that Yellowtab wrote for Zeta, like drivers and applications.

Javier Marti wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 4:03 AM PST:

Hi Eugenia
I am Javier, the founder of, the fastest growing community of amateur writers writing about The Future of everything. We would like to invite you to join us and write an article on the website, perhaps “The future of operating systems” or on anything you are passionate about…
It is up to you, you choose the subject.
You would get a link back when you link to your own article, if you wish.
(You can even re-use some of your already published material, in the last part of the article, “your view and comments”. That would save you time and still be interesting for readers.)
And yes, I know you may not have the time. Theoretically, none of us do…;)

Failing that, if you like the project and you can help us spread the word -even if you don’t write- it would be great.
Since we are starting, any help is appreciated.

By making this valuable information available online for free, I truly believe we are helping to make the world a better place.
And you could do your bit for the world too, by sharing what you know, as we already do.

Please let us know if you link or mention us, so we can link you back too if you wish.
You can even use our valuable articles on your websites, provided that you link back. Any better offer than that?! :)

Look forward to hearing from you or reading your interesting article at Trendirama!

Best regards
Javier Marti

[link removed by admin]

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 4:05 AM PST:

Javier, your comment looks like spam on my personal blog. If you were any serious about all this, you would have emailed me personally.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 5:57 AM PST:

JC, because there is no reason to start a brand new site and start from scratch all over again and go against Engadget/Gizmodo. I already did the uphill battle in 2001 with osnews, why go through the same battle again? It does not make sense from the business point of view. I simply use the guns that I have available in my disposal right now (osnews). This way, osnews wins, because as I said, there is very little interest anymore in most alternative OSes.

memson wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 7:22 AM PST:

> Well, I hope he does give the Zeta source to Haiku.

Bits of the Zeta codebase are useful. The SATA support. The few drivers they wrote, and didn’t take from Haiku. The CUPS based printing framework. But then there’s a big heap of rubbish they piled on to Zeta too – the libzeta fiasco etc. The Be sourcecode is not going to help Haiku. Not the low level stuff. They’ve got there own Kernel and their own low level layers already that are “compatible” with the Be ones, but not necessarily the same under the hood. The BeOS sourcecode has changed fairly little over the last 5 years. As I understand it, most of the work went into removing bugs, adding support for other processors etc. Most of the rest of the work went into libzeta. Why? Bernd’s license for the code was one that meant he only owned “original” code, not the changes they made to the BeOS. He had a plan (ststed back in the BeOS NG days) to take Haiku parts and replace the corresponding BeOS segment with free code. They would eventually then have an 90 – 99% free product. Unfortunately, that was never a very realistic approach, Haiku took longer than they anticipated, and his funding has dried up.

Sad. Zeta was okay, 1.2 was fairly usable, even compared to Neo or 1.0/1.1.

JC wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 7:34 AM PST:

Eugenia, I think there is a reason.. there’s no real ‘developer oriented’ mobile site, which I think is a big gap in the blogosphere right now. You’ve definitely got the experience and the interest, I would think, to make that happen. :)

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 3rd, 2007 at 7:43 AM PST:

There is not much interest for “developer” oriented mobile stuff. While smartphones that support native apps are on the rise, they are still below 5% of all phones sold. And all the rest of the phones are just using a crippled J2ME for apps. And as I said, if I have something to write, I write it on osnews. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel.

KJK::Hyperion wrote on April 4th, 2007 at 1:17 AM PST:

There is no money to be made in catch-all technology news sites either. I find your line of reasoning hilariously wrong – why should I choose OSnews over Slashdot or digg? I already had little reason before, as you simply let OSnews slide into the Slashdot stereotype (forced “fairness” in forum moderation is stupid and actually the best spawning ground for trolls), but with the complete loss of focus?

Give me a reason to care about the mediocre second-rate news site you seem so proud of having just created. Your site, like the operating systems “nobody gives a shit about” you just mentioned (except ReactOS, goddamnit), has no *story* to tell any longer, if ever.

Leave ReactOS out of this, though. We have outlived countless other projects, we have outlived fads, we have survived internal crisis, we will outlive your silly pet website, because *we* have something to tell, something nobody else tells and while not *everybody* cares about it, it resonates powerfully with many, many people, nevermind whether positively or negatively. ReactOS is all about *reaction*. You cannot *not* have an opinion about ReactOS, and chances are it’s going to be a strong opinion too

Say Eugenia, how many people *hate* OSnews with a passion? Nobody, I’m afraid. How do you know you are “doing it right” without haters to validate you?

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 4th, 2007 at 1:24 AM PST:

So what is this? Someone mentioned my blog on a reactos mailing list or IRC channel and you came over here to give me a “lesson”? Go give me a break. You are living in your OWN WORLD. I am in the business for far longer than you are, and let me tell you this: People don’t care about hobby OSes as much as they did in the past. Linux has destroyed that excitement that used to exist.

Get over it.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on April 4th, 2007 at 1:47 AM PST:

Please do not reply again about ReactOS. I don’t like “organized” visits from web sites or mailing lists or IRC channels to come over here *in droves* just to “defend” their pet OS (this includes the Haiku fans). I don’t CARE about your pet OS. Just like 99.9% of the population doesn’t either.

This discussion is over. If you have a problem, EMAIL me. Do NOT reply to this blog off topic in another story.

ReactOS User wrote on April 4th, 2007 at 12:45 PM PST:

ReactOS is the most popular and perspective hobby/alternative os at the moment. Future of beos doesn’t even exist, yes! But not ReactOS. ReactOS has a brilliant future. Don’t talk shit about ReactOS.

Haos wrote on April 4th, 2007 at 12:19 PM PST:

“and nobody gives a shit anymore about OSes like … ReactOS”

Oh really? we shall see. ReactOS outlived many looking-better OS projects. You dont give a shit about ReactOS? Your problem. But many people do give, then your statement is in fact exaggeration, if not the outright lie. Is is caused by your lack of knowledge, or deliberate action of yours? I have no idea…

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