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7 October, 4.36pm pdt
BeOS R4 To Include Phone Integration

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Just hours after Microsoft's introduction of the Microsoft Cordless Phone System, Be, Inc. announced a host of telephony services shipping with R4, the next version of the BeOS.

"We originally did not plan to announce anything in advance, but everyone was making such a big deal about the Microsoft Phone I thought we should give a sneak peek," said Be, Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée.

At a hastily-convened demo Gassée started the presentation by placing an ordinary phone next to a computer running a beta version of BeOS R4. Analysts gasped with disbelief when Gassée then used People files to place several calls.

"We don't want someone to spend $200 on a new phone when the BeOS is perfectly capable of working with existing phones," explained Gassée. "And we decided cables are much too 'legacy', so we connect instead through the sub-ether."

In addition to integrating with People files, the BeOS also provides caller ID services, the ability to screen calls and play customized digital recordings based on incoming phone numbers and a function to transparently re-route calls from telemarketers to the Psychic Friends Network. Integration with BeMail allows the sending and receiving of email over the phone. A scheduling plug-in makes outgoing calls and play pre-recorded digital messages.

"Perfect for when you need to call in sick but also want to get a jump on the beach traffic," commented one awe-struck observer.

One journalist pondered the productivity gains that auto-ordering of pizza and other food would have on programmers - "No longer would a programmer have to take five minutes out of work and break his flow of concentration to order vital food," he noted. "Pizza would just suddenly show up at his cubicle."

The BeOS also offers several enhancements to existing services, including 73% faster dialing and the ability to circumvent busy signals and win radio station contests.


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