Where Have All the RTOS Vendors Gone?

I’m pleased to report that the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) is alive and well here in Boston this year. This success is despite the recession and industry trends that have caused some other technical trade shows to fold this year. (That’s right, I’m talking about you Software Development Conference.) There’s even apparently going to be an ESC Chicago in 2010!

However, the RTOS vendors are largely and notably absent from this year’s event. Of the major players, only Enea and Green Hills have booths.

Wind River has long been fickle about making camp at ESC, of course, with yearly vascillations between the largest booth at the show and none at all. Their new parent Intel has acted similarly regarding pitching chips to embedded system designers over the years. Thus it is not too surprising to me that neither are here while they sort through the post-acquisition marketing shifts and tactical planning.

But where are the booths for MicriumMentor (Nucleus and VRTX), KeilQNXExpress LogicLynuxWorksQuadros and the others this year? Are Microsoft, LinuxEnea, and Green Hills eating your lunch?

I can’t help but connect their absence with the five year downward trend of intention to buy a “Commercial OS” I noted in TechnInsight’s 2009 Embedded Market Study. But is that simply because no one is marketing RTOSes to developers any more?

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