"...My curiosity was understandably aroused by a headline
appearing on the EE Times website which read "QNX enters free
software fray." For one, I'd just finished speaking to an embedded
developer who'd chosen Linux over QNX because the last thing QNX's
Neutrino is is Free Software. For another, the folks behind QNX
have made no bones about what they consider a key distinction
between their product and Linux: that pesky GPL. The QNX website
touts this distinction:"
"Embedded system OEMs don't want to lose or compromise their IP
simply because it has been mixed with GPL code. All core QNX
components have clear IP ownership and enable OEMs to maintain the
rights to their code investment."
"At the same time, using words like "synergy" and "popularity,"
QNX has made a few cautious overtures to getting its name in lights
along with the rapidly-accelerating Linux by opening the source to
some of its applications and libraries. In the past, subtle shifts
in licensing have presaged bigger things to come: witness several
iterations of the TrollTech licensing scheme where Qt was involved
over on the desktop side, and Sun's drift from the "Community
License" for StarOffice to a full-blown GPLing of their suite. The
fact that QNX's eroding key technical distinction from Linux: its
real-time capabilities, is rapidly becoming a non-issue, I thought,
had possibly pushed the company over the edge."
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