Embedded Linux suppliers ranked: Wind River and MontaVista top list

NATICK, Mass., 30 July 2009. Wind River Systems, a real time software provider in Alameda, Calif., has become the leading commercial supplier of solutions for embedded Linux applications, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue, according to analysts at market researcher VDC Research in Natick, Mass.

Jul 30th, 2009

NATICK, Mass., 30 July 2009. Wind River Systems, a real time software provider in Alameda, Calif., has become the leading commercial supplier of solutions for embedded Linux applications, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue, according to analysts at market researcher VDC Research in Natick, Mass.

Wind River has been acquired by semiconductor giant Intel Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., as part of Intel's strategy to expand into aerospace and defense embedded systems, military Linux, and mobile handheld devices,as well as into real time Linux, beyond Intel's traditional market of PCs and servers. The sale was announced in early June and completed on 17 July.

After Intel Wind River, the next leading global supplier of embedded Linux software is MontaVista Software Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., which in 2003 was the world's leading supplier of embedded Linux, VDC analysts say. Monta Vista controls 20 to 30 percent of the embedded Linux Market, according to VDC.

After Monta Vista, the next leading suppliers of embedded Linux control between 2 and 10 percent of the market. They are, in alphabetical order, ARM Ltd.; Concurrent Computer Corp.; Lauterbach GmbH; SYSGO AG; TimeSys Corp.; and VirtualLogix, VDC analysts say.

Falling off of VDC's list of embedded Linux providers controlling at least 2 percent of the market between 2003 and 2008 are FSM Labs, which sold its real-time Linux product to Wind River in 2007; LynuxWorks; Metrowerks, which was acquired by Motorola Semiconductor in 1999 (and spun off later as Freescale Semiconductor); Red Hat Inc.; and Viosoft

"The embedded Linux ecosystem remains fragmented due to the large number of public and commercial distributions and tools available to embedded systems manufacturers, says Chris Rommel, analyst with VDC's embedded software and tools practice. "The commercial embedded Linux market, however, has remained a two horse race over the past few years and Wind River finally caught up. It will be interesting to see if it was just a short sprint or if they can hold their lead going forward."

With the Wind River acquisition, Intel now controls more than 30 percent of the world's embedded Linux market. No other software company controls more than 30 percent of the market, according to VDC analysts.

Wind River is now a wholly owned Intel subsidiary, and reports to the Intel Software and Services Group. The acquisition will boost Wind River's Intel-architecture focused sales as it gains access to Intel's technology investments, brand, employees, and global sales force, Intel officials say. Wind River will continue with its current business model.

Although Wind River's products and services portfolio may strengthen Intel's semiconductor value proposition, VDC estimates that Intel architecture designs represent less than 15 percent of Wind River's overall revenue. As a result, a significant amount of Wind River's market share will rest on Intel's ability and willingness (not to mention that of their competitors) to maintain support for non Intel processing platforms.

This acquisition, in fact, has the potential to provide MontaVista the second wind it needs, enabling the company to alter its go-to-market strategy and regain lost market share.

VDC explores these industry trends and other critical issues affecting this market in the released report, Linux in the Embedded Systems Market, Volume 2 from Track 1 of VDC's 2009 Embedded Software Market Intelligence Service.

For more information contact VDC online at www.vdcresearch.com.

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