Reflections on the DSO ghost site

Isn’t it time someone turned off the lights at www.dso.com? It’s been two years since anything has been posted on the site. No blog entries, no interviews, no press releases, no whitepapers, no anything. Just a “New” entry dated July 28, 2006.

Did you ever hear about DSO (device software optimization)? It was labeled as a “methodology” that aims to optimize embedded development through a combination of standardization, choice, partnerships, and best practices.

Three years ago, industry analysts were singing the praises of DSO. RTOS vendors were tripping over one another in a rush to proclaim their DSO support. Magazine articles were speculating that DSO might be the next big thing. One article even claimed that the DSO market was valued at 8 billion dollars — even though DSO was defined as a methodology, not a market.

Today, all I see is an abandoned web site and a few perfunctory references in press releases. Wind River is the exception: it still promotes DSO in its glossy brochures. But then again, it came up with the DSO concept in the first place.

What about you? Do you think DSO was a laudable attempt at establishing a baseline for embedded software vendors? Or is it simply yesterdays’ marketing campaign?


Himmele said...

I think they failed to build a driving force behind all these things that has a measurable goal (maybe a real product ;-)). Look at the Open Handset Alliance where Google pushes the Android platform. And there is Nokia, pushing Symbian/QT based platforms.
Not to forget QNX promoting Flash based multimedia-platforms. There has to be a company that is responsible for the product and that provides documentation, tools, etc. As a developer I am interested in embedded standards, but they emerge naturally. Hopefully (for me) modular and flexible systems with great software component models will win in this market.

thejy said...

I have the feeling WindRiver wanted to drag some interest from the community when they changed their mind on embedded Linux (and embedded market in general) 4 years ago. At that time Marketing people (recruited for the week I guess) were yelling DSO every three words during their presentations. Used cars resellers do about the same on week-end commercials... sad.

Paul N. Leroux said...

Hi thejy! To some degree, I understand why the Wind River marketing people were yelling "DSO" so much; it was, after all, their marketing campaign. :-) I was amazed, however, at seeing other RTOS vendors yell the same thing. Didn't they realize that they were, in fact, promoting Wind River -- their competitor!