Product complexity driving cost and schedule in embedded projects

NOVEMBER 11--OEMs continue to face pressure in developing software for embedded devices that require increasing levels of functionality in the face of shrinking time-to-market windows and the need to control costs, according to a report published by Venture Development Corporation.

NOVEMBER 11--OEMs continue to face pressure in developing software for embedded devices that require increasing levels of functionality in the face of shrinking time-to-market windows and the need to control costs, according to "The Embedded Software Strategic Market Intelligence Program 2004, Volume I: Embedded Operating Systems, Software Development Tools, Design Automation Tools, Test Automation Tools and Linux in the Embedded Systems Market" published by Venture Development Corporation (VDC; www.vdc-corp.com). In 2003, the competition in the market offered embedded developers a choice for their development projects in providing technology solutions and flexible business models that are aligned with the way developers are actually working.

Design and development complexity have taken on new levels of risk in these projects as OEMs struggle with OSs, tools, middleware, and silicon. Within the embedded software market, suppliers are redefining product strategies and business models, shifting the value proposition for their solutions higher up the software stack in an effort to improve development processes, manage costs, and reduce risks for OEMs.

Microsoft continues to leverage the popularity it gained over the last year focusing on providing software platforms and a simple pricing and engagement model. The company's surge in revenue placed first in terms of embedded operation system market share.

"During 2003, Microsoft expanded its product by introducing a new 'Core' licensing level for its Windows CE.NET OS designed for use in low-cost embedded devices and expanded the availability and use of source code for CE.NET," says Stephen Balacco, embedded software senior analyst at VDC. He adds, "The new core license will allow Microsoft to compete in more traditional embedded applications where it was previously unable."

The largest pure play embedded software vendor, Wind River Systems, focus has diversified with their integrated platforms strategy and a shift from an inwardly focused OS supplier to a supplier of embedded technologies for developers.

Venture Development Corporation is an independent technology-market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in a number of embedded, industrial, defense, and niche enterprise IT markets. VDC has been operating since 1971, when the firm was founded by graduates of the Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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