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|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Wind River Executes 'A 180-Degree Turn'
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From: "Inker, Evan"
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Wind River Executes 'A 180-Degree Turn'
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 15:10:04 +0100
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
Wind River Executes 'A 180-Degree Turn'
In three years, embedded leader turns from proprietary to major Linux player
By Edward J. Correia
June 15, 2005 - The transformation of Wind River Systems is complete. The
embedded giant, seen only a few years ago as the leader of a diminishing
group of proprietary software vendors, last month announced that it will
develop its own distribution of Linux. This caps a remarkable transition
that began with a failed attempt to buy its way into the open-source arena
with BSD Unix.
The announcement came at the company's annual user conference in Orlando,
Fla., where it also unveiled a new Linux- and VxWorks-based platform for
consumer devices and Workbench 2.3, its latest Eclipse-based IDE.
Wind River's first attempt to compete with Linux was in 2002, when it
launched BSD/OS, using technology acquired from BSD Unix from Berkeley
Software Designs a year earlier. It withdrew the product from the market in
November 2003, and the following February partnered with Red Hat on its
The company hinted that it might develop its own Linux distribution as early
as 2003, when in June of that year founder and then chairman Jerry Fiddler
was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News saying that Wind River's desire was
to build a profitable business with Linux.
According to John Bruggeman, the company's chief marketing officer, the
company had little choice but to develop its own Linux distribution, despite
having once vowed that it would not. As Wind River began to engage
prospective Linux customers, it found that for many types of applications it
simply had no choice, he said.
"You had to break the seal," Bruggeman said, adding that distributions of
commercial embedded Linux vendors "didn't have the robustness and the
quality that the Wind River brand represents." Available now as part of its
new General Purpose Platform, Wind River Linux is based on kernel 2.6 from
kernel.org and conforms to the Carrier Grade 2.0 specification.
The platform also encompasses VxWorks 6.1, the latest version of Wind
River's proprietary RTOS that includes an implementation of the Transparent
Interprocess Communication (TIPC) protocol and broader hardware support.
General availability is set for this month.
"This is a 180-degree turn for Wind River," said John Carbone, vice
president of marketing at Express Logic, which sells a competing real-time
operating system, ThreadX. "They used to be relatively adversarial toward
Linux and open source in general," he said, adding that Wind River is now
not only embracing open source, but supporting ThreadX, a competitive RTOS,
in Wind River's Workbench 2.3 integrated development environment.
Revving the Workbench
The new version of Wind River's Workbench offers two main new features:
support for Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS and also an OS-Awareness API, which
Wind River says will let the IDE accommodate any real-time operating system.
For ThreadX, Workbench can now perform stop-mode debugging with Wind River's
ICE and PROBE debuggers using JTAG target connections. "That's what most of
our customers do. You can stop at a breakpoint and check memory registers
and follow a thread or check kernel objects," said Carbone.
Workbench also now encompasses all of Wind River's development tools,
including its Sniff+ code analysis, visionPROBE hardware bring-up and
on-chip debugging tools.
"There is now one consistent seamless user interface across all the
different developer types that contains all the probes, emulators and other
technologies," Wind River's Bruggeman said.
Wind River will begin offering Workbench-still priced starting at US$3,000
per seat-in less-expensive editions tailored for specific development needs,
including editions with and without hardware debugging capabilities. The
IDE, which has long supported Linux, now works with MontaVista Linux;
distributions from Red Hat and kernel.org had been supported previously.
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