New research from Embedded Market Forecasters (EMF) indicates that time to market should be the key selection factor in picking a real time operating system (RTOS). Although in the past RTOS selection was determined by an assessment of the functional characteristics of the candidate systems, the increased complexity and the changes in the embedded market means that these factors are no longer sufficient to provide successful results. With the emphasis on seizing windows of market opportunity, factors which affect time to market have become much more important.
According to EMF survey results, some operating systems consistently outperform others in terms of helping developers get their projects to market on time or even ahead of schedule. This paper examines data that shows the effect of which RTOS was used on whether the project was completed on or ahead of schedule. Since time to market is a significant factor in the profitability of most projects, it's clear that developers should look closely at these figures and make development speed a critical consideration in operating system selection.
Without question, the traditional criteria still matter: the RTOS must also be capable of meeting the functional requirements of the application. Notably, however, the report observes that using an RTOS that is overqualified for the application may have a negative impact on time-to-market. This is because their additional capabilities, beyond what is required by the needs of the application, make these RTOSes more complicated and harder to use.
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