News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Article: Linux, Windows neck-and-neck in embedded

Oct 28, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

According to data recently compiled by Evans Data Corp (EDC), Linux and Windows are running neck-and-neck in terms of developer use for future projects. The newest installment of EDC's Embedded Systems Developer Survey, fielded in July 2002, shows 30.2% of embedded developers expect to use Linux in their next embedded project, while 16.2% say they will use Windows CE and another 14.4% say they will… use Windows XP Embedded — giving Windows Embedded operating systems a slight edge over Embedded Linux, at 30.6% vs. 30.2%. However, Embedded Linux has nearly double the growth rate.

Data for these two OSes plus ten others is shown in the graph below, which illustrates the answers to the question: “For each of the following operating systems, please indicate whether you are targeting the OS on your current project or your next project.” The data is shown sorted by next project expected use.

OSes targeted in current and next embedded projects
(Percent of projects)

Data source: Embedded Systems Developer Survey, Volume 2, 2002

EDC collected data from 444 developers to compile the above results. The data obtained indicates that “proprietary in-house,” the current favorite, is rapidly losing ground to a combination of off-the-shelf OSes for future projects. The greatest beneficiaries of that trend appear to be Embedded Linux and Windows Embedded, which picked up 20.1 and 13.9 percentage points for expected use in future projects, respectively.

Interestingly, Wind River's VxWorks embedded OS, which is generally considered to be the encumbent embedded software market leader, trails slightly behind Embedded Linux for current project use. Additionally, VxWorks' modest gain of just 2.9 percentage points for expected use in future projects drops it to a distant third place position, ending up with less than half the usage rate of the two neck-and-neck future project usage leaders (Windows Embedded and Embedded Linux).

Note that the above data represents usage rates by project, not OS royalties, SDK, or tools revenues.

EDC's Embedded Systems Developer Survey, Volume 2, 2002, is the second edition of an in-depth survey series that measures attitudes and intentions regarding technology amongst over 400 embedded systems developers. Conducted in July, this volume includes sections on hardware platforms and considerations, Linux and Open Source Software in the embedded world, Java in embedded devices, embedded databases, tools, tasks, languages, and issues with embedded systems development and more. 220+ pages.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.