Earlier this week, Wind River Software and Green Hills Software announced a settlement of their long-standing and nasty legal dispute.
I won't attempt to untangle the suits, motions for dismissal and injunctions, and other legal maneuverings here. Basically, Wind River has agreed to provide VxWorks object code to Green Hills, and to stop using the term "Multi-X" in its marketing materials. If you're curious for more, Green Hills posted a fairly detailed summary of the settlement here, and you can view a complete copy of the seven-page settlement agreement here. Back in January, my colleagues at EE Times provided a good perspective on what was at stake in this article.
But what's more interesting to me now is that the real winner is neither Wind River nor Green Hills, but the DSO concept itself.
Prior to this week, pretty much the only people using the term "DSO" were Wind River (a key sponsor of this site), some of its partners, a few forward-looking industry watchers, and the writers on this site. But this week that changed when Green Hills used the D-word for the first time. The turn came in this press release, in which the company stated, in part, "Green Hills Software, Inc., the technology leader in device software optimization (DSO), announced today that its industry-leading MULTI device software optimization solution will again be available to VxWorks users." While I believe Green Hills is trying to get in a few last digs against Wind River, I also believe this marks the beginning of a wider embrace of the DSO concept.
Does Green Hills truly believe in the DSO concept, or does the company simply feels it must use this term to compete with Wind River? I don't know. But what seems far more important is that the real near-term winner is DSO. Longer term, however, the real winners should be the device-software developers, vendors, and users who will benefit from DSO's enterprise-level approach. If so, we will look back on this week's legal settlement as a DSO landmark.