Linux vs. Windows Gadget Smack-Down 4: Pre-game Banter

Welcome to Round Four of's ultimate showdown between Linux and Windows in the arena of embedded and device computing!

Welcome to Round Four of the ultimate showdown between Linux and Windows in the arena of embedded and device computing! After three heated but inconclusive rounds, our combatants are pulling no punches in their all-out quest to dominate the hottest consumer electronics and industrial computing markets.

Our smack-down aims to set aside the marketing hype and pit Linux versus Windows where it really counts—devices on the street today. Later in this story, well update our tallies of successful Linux- and Windows-powered design wins across a dozen or so computing categories. But first, lets get started with some cutting commentary and market analysis to put all the fast-paced action to come into perspective.

Pre-game banter

Theres no question that the embedded market overall has continued to explode since our last SmackDown Round in July. New technologies, alliances, and market trends have combined to push the pace of innovation to fever pitch.

Topping the list of hot embedded areas has to be mobile phones. Worldwide mobile phone shipments experienced their second-best quarter ever in Q2 of this year, according to Gartner, with 190.5M units shipped, a 21.6 percent jump year-over-year, and are projected to exceed a billion units shipped in 2009.

Embedded Linux heats up mid-range mobile phones

Replacement business now defines mobile competition according to low cost and/or feature differentiation, both arguably areas where Linux shines. Linux has fared especially well in high-end "smartphones," where it claimed 14 percent of the market in Q1, and 25 percent of the market in Q2, according to Gartner (as reported by the OSDL). In the broader "converged device" market, overall shipments soared 75 percent year-over-year, according to Canalysis, with Motorola achieving the most spectacular growth, attributed to Linux smartphone sales in Asia.

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