Archive for April, 2008

Windows Embedded Compact

Sunday, April 27th, 2008 Michael Barr

From a recent entry in VDC’s blog:

In an effort to remove any confusion around its embedded offerings, Microsoft has reorganized and rebranded its Windows Embedded product family. Going forward, new editions of Windows XP Embedded will be titled Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded CE will be titled Windows Embedded Compact, and restricted licenses of Windows Vista and Windows XP will be offered through the Windows Embedded Enterprise group. In addition, new products specific to certain device categories, including the next generation of Windows Embedded for Point of Service, will be offered through the Windows Embedded Ready division.

Sure, that’s less confusing!

Real-Time Java is Dead

Friday, April 25th, 2008 Michael Barr

A few months less than ten years ago, I presented a paper at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) for the first time. My 1.5 hour course was entitled “Embedded Java” or something similar. This was in Silicon Valley, and the audience was standing room only–despite a rather large room to start with.

I’ve tracked technical and business developments in the world of embedded and real-time Java for even longer–and written a number of articles on the subject. And so I didn’t miss that over the years the audiences for courses on either variant of Java dwindled. After a hopeful year or two too long, I gave up on Java in our space and stopped proposing the topic at ESC.

Then, last Spring, I had the refreshing experience of teaching a two-day hands-on real-time Java programming class in the Netherlands. The room was packed. There was enthusiasm. And these guys were really using Java to develop software (though it wasn’t truly embedded code). So I thought I’d try again at ESC and reproposed the topic.

Last week I taught a course called “Real-Time Java Programming” at the ESC Silicon Valley venue. A lot had changed about the audience size. This time, in a room of a similar size, there were many empty chairs and tables. I think there were perhaps 15 people attending this time.

By my reckoning, Java is officially dead in the embedded systems community–especially in the U.S.

Embedded History Month

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 Michael Barr

This seems to be the month for celebrating the history of embedded systems.

Twenty-five year old compiler vendor IAR, which just launched a nicely redesigned website, has published an interesting history of the company and its founder, Anders Rundgren.

And next week I’ll be out at the Embedded Systems Conference, which is celebrating twenty consecutive years of bringing the community together with a backward-facing keynote led by Jack Ganssle.