Theresa Lanowitz | May 19, 2006
The 2006 Wind River Worldwide User Conference concluded today. This conference was edgy. From the ultra-hip urban graphics on everything from signage to hotel room keys to a Phil Gordon hosted poker tournament, Wind River is shaking up a staid and conservative industry.

If there was one clearly identifiable theme at this conference, it was think differently. Wind River is at the heart of the DSO (Device Software Optimization) movement. While the core DSO tenets are standardization, openness of both standards and source, the espousing of best practices and an ecosystem it really means that all of the billions of IP enabled devices will be able to connect securely, reliably, and safely when and where they need to.

Shaking up an industry that has been content with building software for processors in devices is a tall task. Contentment is always a troublesome companion. Technology and the tools we build are capable of allowing constant connectivity. And, society is demanding connectivity. Society as a whole may not use the tech jargon of “connecting through a pervasive, low cost, reliable network to other devices”, but they are thinking it. They are thinking about connected homes where the lighting, sprinklers, media, and security systems are integrated, affordable, and easy to use. They are thinking about cell phones that can heal and replace themselves. They are thinking about eliminating the daily inconveniences of paperwork and envisioning the concept of a linked together personal space and being able to establish their own profile and identity in places such as their office, a hotel, or any checkout queue.

In reality, the DSO movement will be the catalyst for making our lives simpler through technology – it just has to be implemented.

Wind River showed that this vision takes more than a developer to deliver. In fact, it takes an ecosystem consisting of partners and suppliers, and ultimately customers.

Wind River has broken out of the tools for developers only mode and introduced products, solutions, and services for all of the stakeholders in the product life cycle. For the first time, a software vendor in the DSO market has released a product that will enable device software to be managed. This is a significant step forward in the DSO market. This now means device software will be accountable for its behavior. Wind River has products to ensure quality in the device software. And, of course, there are the Wind River developer products. One can argue that this life cycle is still lacking in some areas – of course this is true, there is still a need for security, data management, etc. But, what Wind River has done is take the bold move of delivering products against a vision. By delivering more tools and services to stakeholders in the product life cycle, the value of what the device software engineer is creating moves further up the stack of the organization to managers and executives. Over time, the economy of reuse will be realized in the organization.

Change is good. Looking at problems differently and thinking about the results is what makes change happen. Look around, talk to your customers and you may be surprised by what you find.

This has been a week full of communication and collaboration for an industry that needs to move beyond its original instantiation and on to the next generation. Use the raw materials created by vendors in the DSO market and lose the companion of contentment.

What’s next…requirements are essential – understand the needs before you proceed.