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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Member since:

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:

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:

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:

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

chrish Member since:

I'm no longer a fan of QNX the company, but I'd just like to point out that monitoring systems could run Windows or whatever you felt like putting on them... they're not mission-critical. The systems controlling the sensors and safety measures, now those are misison-critical.

It's best to isolate the embedded systems and send data off to workstations running whatever is convenient; display the data in a comfortable desktop environment, and control the important bits from a well-designed embedded system.

- chrish

Reply Parent Score: 1