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Recently published research by VDC Research Group continues to indicate the market for commercial standalone software development tools remains under pressure and challenged as a result of competitive market dynamics.
The embedded market has evolved since the early nineties when market players were compartmented and offered RTOSs or software development tools. Over time, players converged at the center, either through acquisitions and mergers, internal development or some combination of both, in offering a software solution that spans operating systems and tool chains. Regardless of the direction of convergence, the focus was on providing an integrated and supported solution from a single vendor.
Many operating system vendors offer integrated and optimized tools support for development of applications for their own platform offerings. Hardware and silicon suppliers have partnered with tools providers in the past to support clients, but this trend has been changing as these suppliers find value in bringing tool offerings in-house. Lastly, open source solutions are popular with developers looking for low, no-cost development tools. These freely available solutions represent the baseline from which all tools vendors must be able to differentiate themselves.
VDC expects the challenge is further complicated by the anticipated decrease in use of in-house developed target operating systems, where standalone software development tools shipments have historically represented an important source of income for suppliers.