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BeOS is an operating system that was developed by Be Incorporated in 1990 as a media OS. Based on a BSD Unix microkernel it is optimised for digital media work - digital audio, digital video, and 3D graphics and animations. It is multiprocessor capable and emphasizes high efficiency, modular I/O bandwidth and pervasive multi-threading for true preemptive multitasking, graphical flexibility, real-time responsiveness and has an optimised 64-bit journaling and indexed file system. A new multithreaded GUI was developed on the principals of clarity and a clean, uncluttered design. It retains Posix compatibility and access to a CLI and bash shell.

Initially the OS ran on its own BeBox hardware; it was extended to cover all computers running PowerPC processors and then onto Intel processor based computers. Despite interest from Apple to replace MacOS with BeOS the system did not achieve a significant marketshare. In 2001 Be's intellectual property was sold to Palm. BeOS 5 is considered the last version.