Despite the fragmentation of operating system selection, engineers responding to VDC’s 2011 Embedded Engineering Survey exhibited a propensity to reselect the operating system supplier/brand chosen for their current project for their next, similar project. For operating system suppliers this loyalty is indicative of the likelihood of securing future business once an initial relationship is established with a customer. When satisfied with an embedded operating system, engineers are less likely to go through the process of evaluating a different platform for a new project, as the potential advantages of a new platform are often overridden by the complications associated with switching vendors (porting legacy code, training, etc.).
This loyalty is not blind; however, as more than 20% of those surveyed did switch operating system suppliers from their previous, similar project. There are many factors that can impact the continued use of an operating system, including price, performance, functionality, and support. Engineers unhappy with some or all of these aspects represent the opportunity for vendors in this space to capitalize on the dissatisfaction with their competitors.