Earlier this month, Embedded Market Forecasters issued a Microsoft-funded research report that claimed development projects using Microsoft Windows embedded operating system (OS) platforms, namely Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded, were completed 43 percent faster and at an average 68 percent lower cost when compared to similar projects using an embedded Linux OS. The report was based on data received via survey from 100 manufacturers, 50 of which used Windows embedded platforms and 50 of which used embedded Linux platforms on development projects ranging from consumer electronics to set-top boxes to network gateways, among others.
LynuxWorks' Viewpoint on the Research Findings
“The report's findings are, at best, incomplete because they fail to take into consideration other critical factors that impact the product design process,” said Bob Morris, vice president, sales and marketing of LynuxWorks. “For instance, while the report claims that Linux projects take more time and money, it does not analyze and compare these projects according to their size and complexity, two factors that significantly affect time-to-market and overall cost. In fact, the findings in this report run completely counter to what we've found working with our customers, year-in and year-out, developing Linux-based products. Despite Microsoft's resistance, CELF (Consumer Electronics Linux Forum), ELC (Embedded Linux Consortium) and other Linux-based initiatives demonstrate that Linux is taking hold as a viable, open-source alternative to Windows-based platforms, and rightly so as Linux has proven to be a robust software solution for developers.”
“A more beneficial and educational study for the embedded industry would be an unbiased examination of how open-source and proprietary operating systems can best meet developers' needs,” said Dr. Inder Singh, CEO of LynuxWorks and chairman of the Embedded Linux Consortium. “For instance, a truly thoughtful analysis of real-world design scenarios using a Linux and Windows embedded OS would compare factors like reliability, robustness, hardware support and availability of drivers and tools, all of which are factors that keep developers up at night. It would also evaluate projects of the same size and scope to provide a realistic assessment.”
“It's clear that Linux and Windows will continue to coexist, along with other open source and proprietary OSs, to provide users with a range of low or no cost solutions for their embedded design projects,” Dr. Singh adds. “LynuxWorks has been developing embedded operating systems and tools for 15 years and our experience has taught us that flexibility and availability of applications are what customers demand. This is why LynuxWorks offers developers a complete range of open source and proprietary embedded products in both real-time and non-real-time versions. We are the only company in the industry to take this unique approach.”
Do you have comments or questions on this story, or on the EMF report?
But please, before you jump into this discussion, read the full report! You can download it from the EMF website (requires free registration).
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