Windows

Poll: Which embedded operating system will ultimately prevail as the clear market leader?

The TechRepublic Microsoft Windows Blog polls members: Which embedded operating system will ultimately prevail as the clear market leader?

Gadgets like the Apple iPhone and other smartphones and the LGTV lead me to believe that embedded operating systems are going to continue to be a hot area for application development. In the not-so-distant future, you will be hard-pressed to find an electronic gadget that is not labeled "smart" in some way because it has interactive software.

That is why Microsoft's announcement that it has delivered Windows 7 technologies to device manufacturers with the release of Windows Embedded Standard 7 intrigues me. By their very nature, embedded operating systems and technologies are, from the consumer's perspective, hidden. No one really cares that a set top box is running Windows 7 or Linux or whatever, they are concerned only that the set top box works like it should. So should the IT universe be excited or even mildly intrigued by Windows Embedded Standard 7?

And to add fuel to the fire, just this past week, Hewlett-Packard purchased Palm and its webOS, which puts another huge international company with deep pockets into the embedded operating system picture. So which embedded system will prevail? Will there be a clear winner or will we have several popular platforms? And, probably most importantly, will it matter to end users?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

13 comments
sandy.rob
sandy.rob

Many moons ago, I used a computer that was up and ready to go within 15 seconds. When I moved to a Windows-based PC, I was chagrined because it was so slow to get up to speed. I have often wished I could go back to my good old Commodore C-128, with the built-in operating system. (Indeed, I still occasionally fire up the old 128.)

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

3 reasons why embedded os is important, Security, security , security. Oh and if its an open OS then extensibility as well, but security trumps all.

Teapotty
Teapotty

As long as the application works well, who cares what operating system it's on? Tetters

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Most devices that run embedded operating systems are 'single purpose' devices: engine combustion computers, HVAC controls, assorted set top boxes, microwave ovens, CNC systems, GPS systems, military systems, aircraft controls, traffic lights, etc. But even if 'dedicated function' devices didn't outnumber those that accept multiple apps, it still wouldn't matter to the consumer. He or she may care about the apps they can run, but not the OS that supports them. Isn't that the argument the 'cloud' crowd has been pushing regarding desktop OSs?

mitzampt
mitzampt

I know they're actually MID/smartphone-oriented but they are embedded operating systems... I for one believe that open source embedded operating systems are going to get most of the market share, because embedded systems need to be modified easily to fit different needs.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Embedded in what? At the moment, many variations of Linux is embedded in billions of devices around the world; they include phones, cars, trucks, test equipment, heavy machinery, radios - two way and receiver only, toasters, fridges, televisions, video recorders, just about any sort of household electronic good you can name. However, from the list of options, I gather you are referring more to the hand sized phone / internet access devices, and not the whole embedded industry.

nbsc
nbsc

While I have yet to use android, I have used Windows Mobile for over 4 years now, & I have found it to be an absolute necessity. It has allowed me to link with & use my HTC Wizard as a fairly seamless stand-in for my MS office Apps system. On one occasion it allowed me to rebuild my entire Outlook program on my desktop following a serious crash. I did have other backups available, but none were as up to date as my phone's apps. My contact list is well over 2,000 entries & many of them include notes & annotations. This is great for when I don't have my laptop with me throughout the day on local or short business trips. Prior to this it was carry a cell phone, & your PDA of choice.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Is there a current front-runner in the embedded operating system market? Is it too soon to tell? Which embedded system are you developing for now? What operating system is on your smartphone and what that a determining factor in your decision to buy it?

Jaqui
Jaqui

by counting the dedicated single purpose devices in the mix, you just gave GNU/Linux the hands down victory. it's used for far more of them than any other system. [ not to mention the fact that Android is just java on top of a linux kernel. ;) ]

bboyd
bboyd

Pretty common to use Linux variations in industrial applications. Can even get a nix version of a controller for my robot arms. I expect nix in my key fob soon. But back to the topic I think Android will be the more widely adopted web OS for small hand held devices. its evolving very nicely at the moment. I'm wondering what OS they use in cerebral embedded applications. www.embeddedtechmag.com

SKDTech
SKDTech

If there is a front runner right now it is probably iPhone OS. However I see Android or Win 7 Embedded being a better option due to being available from more than one manufacturer and more flexibility.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but as a consumer, do I care what OS the DVR runs, as long at it connects to the TV?

nonseq
nonseq

But the majority of smartphone users could care less if the OS is open source and less restrictive in the apps that are available, at least in my opinion. Over the long haul, iPhone OS probably has the advantage as it is dependable, not only in operation but in consistent look, feel, and operation across all apps and it is so intuitive, the average user has to do very little in order to make it work for them. In my opinion the three most important things in smartphone satisfaction are, user interface, user interface, and user interface. But that's just me. Your mileage may vary.

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