Two Embedded Linux Companies Respond to Microsoft on WinXP Embedded vs. Linux
Dec 18, 2001, 09:02 (10 Talkback[s])
LynuxWorks and Lineo have both decided to make public rebuttals
of Microsoft's claims concerning Windows XP embedded vs. embedded
"XP offering has shortcomings as an embedded offering.
There are some places it can go, but those are limited for reasons
you will see below. The bulk of Microsoft's issues continue to be
in size and performance. Below are some major areas of concern.
Kernel Size -- The smallest footprint configuration of XP
Embedded is 5MB. And for that, to quote Microsoft, you get
"extremely limited functionality." A medium-sized configuration is
15 MB. Just as a comparison, LynuxWorks' BlueCat Linux is 259KB and
LynxOS real-time operating system product is 254KB. An "extremely
limited functionality" version of LynxOS is at about 150 KB! In the
traditional embedded world, XP is huge and at the high-end of what
Performance -- Windows XP is not real-time. It is pre-emptable
but not re-entrant! This can result in long, unbounded worst-case
task response times. This performance will keep XP out of
high-performance, mission-critical applications."
and from Lineo:
"The fact that there are "multiple implementations of
major OS components so developers end up working with different
programming environments and tools" is heavily slanted to the
"Microsoft provides everything you need" viewpoint. Let's look at
history. Microsoft has tied the Web browser and windowing
environment to the underlying operating system and defines these
items as major OS components. Apparently they do not believe in
product differentiation or choice.
Lineo, and (presumably) the rest of the Linux development world,
has always thought that choice and the ability to differentiate
your product from your competitor's product was a good thing. We
recognize that the definition of major OS components is, except for
the Linux kernel itself, arbitrary and dependent on the
requirements of the product being developed. We do not attempt to
dictate to our customers what must be included in the final
configuration. For example, many embedded products do not require a
GUI or a Web browser, therefore it is presumptuous for us to
conclude that these are "major" components which (presumably) are
required in every system. Instead, Lineo's Embedix Linux offers a
"core" set of features necessary to provide a fully functional
operating system (by Lineo's definition), allowing the developer to
pick and choose elements that distinguish a product from the
competition. Flexibility allows customers to innovate.
It is worthwhile to point out that the Opera Web browser,
supported by the Sharp Zaurus SL-5000D handheld device, is much
more feature-rich and compliant with Internet standards than the
standard Web browser included with PocketPC. So, the developer
actually has more of a choice when using Linux."