Intel buys Wind River: the End of the Wintel Duopoly?

Thisis big:

Intel Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wind River Systems Inc, under which Intel will acquire all outstanding Wind River common stock for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $884 million in the aggregate. Wind River is a leading software vendor in embedded devices, and will become part of Intel's strategy to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional PC and server market segments into embedded systems and mobile handheld devices. Wind River will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and continue with its current business model of supplying leading-edge products and services to its customers worldwide.

It's a logical move for Intel, because at a stroke it strengthens hugely its presence in the fast-growing field of embedded, an area where it is currently under-represented. But it has some interesting implications because of the following:

Wind River develops operating systems, middleware (software found between an OS and software application), and software design tools for a variety of embedded computing systems. Its main products include VxWorks, the market-leading proprietary and multicore-ready real-time operating system, and commercial-grade Linux software platforms.

Obviously, Intel has to tread carefully here, since it can't trumpet that Linux side too much, but the reality is rather stronger than those neutral statements would suggest.

When I interviewed Wind River's Chief Marketing Officer last year, here's what he said when I explored the Linux angle:

What's the kind of split between the VxWorks and Linux, in terms of revenue?

Today about 80% of our revenue is VxWorks, but the fastest-growing segment of our business is Linux. It's growing in the triple digits quarter over quarter over quarter. We announced it well north of $50 million for us this year.

Next:Do you think one day you'll ever be wholly open source?

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