Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 9th Oct 2006 01:31 UTC
QNX Most people haven't heard of QNX Software, though they've likely come in contact with it. The real-time operating system is used where software failure can lead to catastrophic consequences, even death - from high-speed trains to air traffic control towers to highway toll systems. It's also used in more than 100 different types of cars on the road.
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What does MS have to do w/ this?
by monkeyhead on Mon 9th Oct 2006 03:31 UTC
monkeyhead
Member since:
2005-07-11

It's nice to see QNX mentioned here, but why does the article hammer on Microsoft? Both Windows and Linux are general purpose OS's with the user/server markets in mind. Real-time OS's are a whole different animal. The comparison doesn't make any sense.

Windows CE and Linux both have libraries to make them real time, but I wouldn't trust either to run a reactor.

If you need real-time mission critical control, then use real-time OS's, or if the application is simple enough, hardware packages like PLC/SCADA.

Reply Score: 3

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I agree with you on this point. I don't think MSFT ever encourages the use of any version of Windows on life-critical stuff. In comparison to the RTOSs mentioned here, Windows is byzantine and messy. On the other hand, it's doubtful that the RTOS systems like QNX can really handle the loads of a modern desktop with myriad hardware and maintain its stability.

If it could, then QSS could make a lot of money in a new business venture...

Edited 2006-10-09 03:57

Reply Parent Score: 1

DittoBox Member since:
2005-07-08

I think it could. I think it could very easily in fact.

But that's not QNX's business plan. Far from it in fact. They have a small, highly functional and incredibly stable and scalable platform. They aren't going to risk that by venturing into the desktop and server space of the average home, small business or enterprise. That's been tried many times in the past decade and a half, and it's failed miserably every time.

Their main function is to act as that core piece of software that's so incredibly reliable that it's used in trains, planes and automobiles. (and nucyoular paar playnts!)

It's designed to do one thing and only one thing, and to do that thing really well. This doesn't mean it can't be made to expand—which I believe with it's architecture is fairly simple—but that's not what it's made to do, and if QSS decided to jump off the deep end they'd lose their current clients quite quickly.

And I don't doubt that their clients are probably a lucrative bunch. ;) Mission-critical, embedded systems work is *expensive*.

Reply Parent Score: 1

fyysik Member since:
2006-02-19

I know lot of little cases when NT-embedded was pushed by bussiness-persons into places where systems like QNX or scaled-down linux will be much better.

Dunno how deeply MSFT is tooted now in car industry, but at least there were articles that BMW uses it quite widely

Reply Parent Score: 2

werpu Member since:
2006-01-18

Actually it is not like that, Microsoft to my knowledge has pushed hard into the embedded area, and also during the big power failure in north america it came out that some of the monitoring terminals of a nuclear plant were running on windows.
Of course there always is the never use our soft in life critical situations, but in case of a huge desaster I just want to see how Microsoft will wind out of that, because there always must have been someone who sold that stuff into nuclear plants.

Reply Parent Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

>why does the article hammer on Microsoft?

Because MS deserve to be hammered?

Come on, MS is making *billions* of dollars, yet there not even capable of producing good and secure software.

Most companies cannot afford to make good and secure software as it's very costly, but MS could if they want: they have enough money for it, but they don't do it as they don't need to: a copy of their OS is sold for each PC sold whatever the quality of the OS..

And the customers suffer from Microsoft greed, so yes they deserve to be hammered.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

I would say that Vista contradicts this but your point was largely relevant in the past. See: Windows 95 & ME.

Reply Parent Score: 1

monkeyhead Member since:
2005-07-11

Okay... that's all fine and good. Trash the greedy corporation. I get it.

But Microsoft is still not competing in the Real Time OS sector, as QNX is not competing in the server/desktop OS sector. It is not a valid comparison no matter how much you hate or love Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 1