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Embedded software tools vendors face market challenges

Sep 11, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Embedded software companies selling only development tools face challenges ahead, according to Venture Development Corp. The research firm's recently released report on the embedded software development tools market warns that the market for “unbundled” software development tools such as compilers and debuggers is expected to undergo little if any growth.

VDC defines unbundled software development tools as “compilers, debuggers, graphical user interfaces, and other related tools sold separately from the operating system or other products.” It expects the category to grow at only 0.6 percent annually, through 2008, versus “moderate” growth for other tools categories.

VDC identifies three reasons for slow unbundled tools growth. These include the growing viability of open source tools (although the most popular open source tool, Eclipse, rated last when compared to commercial tools, in a recent survey by Evans Data Corp.); the migration from “home-grown” to off-the-shelf commercial operating systems; and, more comprehensive, integrated solutions from vendors in adjacent markets, such embedded operating systems.

In particular, VDC emphasizes the effect of leading embedded operating system vendors migrating into the bundled tools market.

Matt Volckmann, senior analyst with VDC's embedded software practice, stated, “Embedded software development tool suppliers will continue to be pushed by the market to provide complete solutions that span the embedded development lifecycle. VDC anticipates that vendors without a distinctive value proposition or a clear strategy for migrating and integrating with other parts of the embedded device development process will find more limited opportunities going forward.”

The finding is from VDC's “Volume III: Embedded Software Development Tools” report. Additional details can be found here.

Meanwhile, recent research from The 451 Group suggests that commercial OS distributors face increasing pressures from bundled OSes distributed by semiconductor and application vendors.

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