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Linux squeezing WinCE, VxWorks out of devices

Aug 12, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Market research firm VDC (Venture Development Corporation) says embedded developers are turning away from Microsoft Windows CE, Wind River VxWorks, and roll-your-own in-house OSes as they embrace embedded Linux in growing numbers. The finding is part of VDC's 2004 Embedded Software Strategic Market Intelligence Program.

VDC estimates that the total worldwide market for embedded Linux reached $65.2 million in 2003, including embedded Linux operating systems, add-on components, and related services. It predicts the market will grow at a 22 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate), reaching $118.5 million in 2006.

Linux growth appears to be happening at the expense of in-house and proprietary OSes, according to VDC. Its report states, “In VDC's end-user survey, embedded developers currently using Linux most frequently cited Windows CE .NET, Wind River Systems VxWorks, and proprietary in-house developed / no formal OS, as the operating system used for their previous project.”

VDC analyst Stephen Balacco explains, “In the past, consumer electronics and industrial automation devices have been major markets for Windows CE .NET. However, we now see a trend toward use of embedded Linux in these devices.”

Balacco continues, “We expect the displacement of VxWorks will primarily be the result of telecom/datacom requirements consolidating around carrier-grade Linux. As for users of in-house developed operating systems, migrating to Linux offers a middle-ground solution that offers a foundation for blending roll-your own and off-the-shelf that includes a combination of source code, control, and minimal licensing costs.”

The VDC report may be the first to suggest that Linux growth impacts proprietary OSes. However, a mid-2001 report from EDC (Evans Data Corp.) showed dramatic embedded Linux growth and a similarly dramatic decline in roll-your-own, in-house OS development, suggesting that Linux was replacing home-grown operating systems as the “new roll-your-own.”

Further details about VDC's Market Intelligence programs are available online.

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