Embedded Linux takes business from Windows CE and VxWorks

Sept. 20, 2004

Survey results from analyst Venture Development Corp. indicate that embedded developers currently using Linux most frequently cited Windows CE/.NET, Wind River Systems' VxWorks, and proprietary in-house developed operating systems, as the operating system that Linux displaced.

"In the past, consumer electronics and industrial automation devices have been major markets for Windows CE.NET,” says VDC analyst Stephen Balacco. “However, we now see a trend toward use of embedded Linux in these devices."The recently completed survey says users of in-house developed operating systems are migrating to Linux as a middle-ground solution that offers a foundation for blending “roll-your-own” and off-the-shelf solutions that include a combination of source code, control, and minimal licensing costs.

Balacco expects the displacement of VxWorks will primarily be the result of telecom/datacom requirements consolidating around carrier-grade Linux.

The 2004 Embedded Software Strategic Market Intelligence Program by VDC estimates worldwide shipments of embedded Linux operating systems, add-on components and related services at $65.2 million in 2003. This research also estimates that embedded Linux revenues will reach $118.5 million by 2006, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 22%.