News.com heeft een interessant nieuwsbericht over goedkope systemen van o.a. Microworkz en iDot, die geleverd zullen worden met BeOS en daarmee de 'Microsoft Tax' ontwijken:
Last week, Microworkz and later iDot announced cheap machines running BeOS from Be Incorporated. America Online is discussing cross-marketing opportunities with Microworkz's iToaster, the company's Be box.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the price spectrum, AST Research announced Be-based multimedia machines with 550-MHz Penium IIIs for $1,999.
The strategy mirrors that of some makers of inexpensive computers based on the Linux operating system, which can be obtained at no charge. The Linux Store chief technical officer John Wise has said the $85 cost for a license of Windows is second only to the cost of the hard disk when his company builds its inexpensive Linux machines. In general, Windows is one of the rare elements of a PC that has not plummeted in price over the past two years.
In February, Be chief executive Jean-Louis Gassee issued a challenge to computer makers to install BeOS for free, but there were no takers, illustrating Microsoft's firm grip on the industry, said Frank Boosman, vice president of business development at Be.
"It's not an offer we continue to this day," Boosman said. Although the company has never signed a deal to give BeOS away for free, "pricing certainly is more aggressive than Windows," Boosman said.
One reason for using BeOS is crashproofness, he added, because technical support calls cost a lot of money. "At $199 [the cost of the iToaster], that's a big issue. If a CD player crashed, and you had to spend an hour on technical support, CD players would not cost what they do today," he said.