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QNX Sold!

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Re: QNX Sold!

Postby Chris Herborth » Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:39 pm

Igor Kovalenko wrote:
Lol. This game is known as 'sea battle' in Russia and is often played in
schools to kill time on boring lections ;)
It is also played here, but i am not sure about the name. The problem is
trivial enough...

It's called "Battleship" in North America. I was going to whip
something up to solve it (hey, I'm a docs guy, I don't get to do as much
programming as I'd like), but I'm too busy...

--
Chris Herborth (cherborth@qnx.com)
Never send a monster to do the work of an evil scientist.
Chris Herborth
 

QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby John Nagle » Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:24 pm

This looks like the beginning of the end of QNX as
a usable real-time operating system.

Harman International does nothing but audio products.
"If it plays, records, or produces music, chances are it's
a Harman product". They don't do industrial control systems.
They don't do core automotive electronics. They don't
do "it has to work" stuff. They're expanding into car
video players and navigation systems, but those are
all basically accessory items.

This is key. If QNX had been sold to a company that
built core automotive systems, like braking, steering,
and engine control, that would be one thing. But Harman
only does non-core entertainment-type devices. If your
CD player crashes, it's not a big deal. This implies
a huge change of focus.

QNX users involved in high-reliability systems that
control real hardware need to be looking for an
exit strategy. Big QNX users need to be talking about
code escrow and contractual protections. Hard real time
control is just too far from Harman's core business areas.

It's a sad ending for a great technology.

John Nagle
John Nagle
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Evan Hillas » Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:23 am

Don't be so negative. Harman isn't likely to stifle the development of
QNX, not after throwing so much money at it. And Dan is quoted as
saying the purpose of this is to accelerate things.

Harman's direct interest will be "infotainment" both in and out of the
car. I don't see why QNX can't continue developing as an OS in parallel
with Harman's other plans. Not to mention that QNX is already a solid
real-time OS but is more in need of other "featuritis" ;)
Evan Hillas
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby John Nagle » Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:04 am

I don't like being that negative either. But realistically, one
has to expect a "redirection of the product" towards Harman's
core business areas.

Look back at my posting a year from now and see if I was right.

John Nagle



Evan Hillas wrote:
Don't be so negative. Harman isn't likely to stifle the development of
QNX, not after throwing so much money at it. And Dan is quoted as
saying the purpose of this is to accelerate things.

Harman's direct interest will be "infotainment" both in and out of the
car. I don't see why QNX can't continue developing as an OS in parallel
with Harman's other plans. Not to mention that QNX is already a solid
real-time OS but is more in need of other "featuritis" ;)
John Nagle
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby John Halpenny » Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:42 am

John Nagle wrote:
I don't like being that negative either. But realistically, one
has to expect a "redirection of the product" towards Harman's
core business areas.

Look back at my posting a year from now and see if I was right.

John Nagle

Evan Hillas wrote:
Don't be so negative. Harman isn't likely to stifle the development of
QNX, not after throwing so much money at it. And Dan is quoted as
saying the purpose of this is to accelerate things.

Harman's direct interest will be "infotainment" both in and out of the
car. I don't see why QNX can't continue developing as an OS in parallel
with Harman's other plans. Not to mention that QNX is already a solid
real-time OS but is more in need of other "featuritis" ;)

I found this interview with Sidney Harman that is a couple of years old,
but he sounds like an interesting guy.
http://www.economist.com/displayStory.c ... ID=1034231

I too would have liked to see an independent Ottawa company, but if they
had to sell, this seems to be an excellent place to go.
--
John Halpenny


A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind.
I’m so glad my desk isn't empty.
John Halpenny
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Steinhoff » Sat Oct 30, 2004 10:14 am

John Nagle wrote:
This looks like the beginning of the end of QNX as
a usable real-time operating system.

Harman International does nothing but audio products.
"If it plays, records, or produces music, chances are it's
a Harman product". They don't do industrial control systems.
They don't do core automotive electronics. They don't
do "it has to work" stuff. They're expanding into car
video players and navigation systems, but those are
all basically accessory items.

Hm ... sound studios and broadcasting systems are accessory items??
No ... these are complex systems! Your view is a little bit narrowed.

The analog technology for audio and video devices will be dead in few
years and will be replaced be _intelligent_ digital devices for e.g.
digital radio and television systems.


This is key. If QNX had been sold to a company that
built core automotive systems, like braking, steering,
and engine control, that would be one thing.

I don't believe that QNX is applicable for that low level
(still 16bit) microprocessor applications.

But Harman
only does non-core entertainment-type devices. If your
CD player crashes, it's not a big deal. This implies
a huge change of focus.

Show me one low level motor control system working with QNX ...

Software is more and more the CORE of complex audio/video systems.
An employee from Becker told me some years ago that their car audio
hardware could be considered as a 'dongel' for their embedded
software :)

That's the reality and the reason why the control over this core
software technology is realy vital for Harman.

QNX users involved in high-reliability systems that
control real hardware need to be looking for an
exit strategy. Big QNX users need to be talking about
code escrow and contractual protections. Hard real time
control is just too far from Harman's core business areas.

Digital broadcasting systems have STRONG requierements for hard
realtime! Just an example ..

It's a sad ending for a great technology.

No ... I think it's a great chance for QSSL.


Regards

Armin


John Nagle
Steinhoff
QNX Master
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 11:56 am

Re: QNX Sold!

Postby Chris McKillop » Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:32 pm

Have in mind that Harman operates in the product niche of audio and in
some extent video devices. Here are their competitors ...

That means they will not compete with network, telematik or automation
companies and all vendors not delivering embedded devices to the
automotives. I beliefe that this 'niche' is much bigger than the
audio-video-automotive-niche


Go take a look at who else Harman owns - specifically a company named
Becker (along with others such as Margi, WaveMakers, etc). They are one
of the top tier automotive hardware suppliers. Do not make the mistake
of ruling Harman to be a audio device maker.

chris
Chris McKillop
 

Re: QNX Sold!

Postby Steinhoff » Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:31 pm

Chris McKillop wrote:

Have in mind that Harman operates in the product niche of audio and in
some extent video devices. Here are their competitors ...

That means they will not compete with network, telematik or automation
companies and all vendors not delivering embedded devices to the
automotives. I beliefe that this 'niche' is much bigger than the
audio-video-automotive-niche


Go take a look at who else Harman owns - specifically a company named
Becker (along with others such as Margi, WaveMakers, etc). They are one
of the top tier automotive hardware suppliers. Do not make the mistake
of ruling Harman to be a audio device maker.

I was talking about Audio, Video and Automotive devices ... as you can
read above.

Margi/Wavemakers is a single vendor producing presentation beamers ( a
kind of video application), which are using wireless connections. Do
they compete by these device with e.g. Cisco ??

Regards

Armin

chris
Steinhoff
QNX Master
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 11:56 am

Re: QNX Sold!

Postby Chris McKillop » Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:08 am

Armin Steinhoff wrote:
Chris McKillop wrote:



Have in mind that Harman operates in the product niche of audio and
in some extent video devices. Here are their competitors ...

That means they will not compete with network, telematik or
automation companies and all vendors not delivering embedded devices
to the automotives. I beliefe that this 'niche' is much bigger than
the audio-video-automotive-niche


Go take a look at who else Harman owns - specifically a company named
Becker (along with others such as Margi, WaveMakers, etc). They are
one of the top tier automotive hardware suppliers. Do not make the
mistake of ruling Harman to be a audio device maker.


I was talking about Audio, Video and Automotive devices ... as you can
read above.


I was just pointing out Telmatics - I totally agree about Automation and
Telecom (and Medical).


Margi/Wavemakers is a single vendor producing presentation beamers ( a
kind of video application), which are using wireless connections. Do
they compete by these device with e.g. Cisco ??


Margi used to make presentation things - that isn't really what they do
anymore. Wavemakers does audio processing for things like hands-free
systems for in-car cellular systems. And no, neither would be going
after Cisco. ;)

chris
Chris McKillop
 

Re: QNX Sold!

Postby Mario Charest » Mon Nov 01, 2004 1:28 am

A customer I have (or had) following the announcement, decided to stopped
development of their QNX6 prototype and switch to another OS. I'm told
there were other factors as well but the selling of QSS seems to have
trigger the decision.

I guess QSS will loose some and win some, but maybe they need to be more
reasuring.

- Mario
Mario Charest
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Kris Warkentin » Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:18 pm

John Nagle wrote:
This looks like the beginning of the end of QNX as
a usable real-time operating system.

I think you're underestimating the reliability and technology required
by in-car systems. Crashing is absolutely not acceptable: witness the
negative PR that BMW got recently when their system was misbehaving.
Power requirements and instant-on capabilities are far more important
than in a generic computing device. Your in-car computing devices need
to be on at the turn of the key and then use essentially no power
afterwards.

I don't believe that automotive goals for QNX are going to be in any way
incompatable with the requirements for medical or telecom or military or
any other high reliability realtime product.

cheers,

Kris
Kris Warkentin
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Igor Kovalenko » Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:18 pm

I agree with that, but my concern is of different nature.

Consider you're looking for a plot of land to build something expensive that
you're going to use for decades. Would you rather find a place where you can
buy a suitable plot of land or go with a generous offer of another
manufacturer (who at this point may not be a direct competitor but has
history of acquisitions and is looking to expand his business into new
areas) to sublease his plot? That plot is darn nice, but they can only sign
a short-term sublease (you'd have to renew every year or so)?

Corporate culture is all about risk management. There are many ways to
assess the same event and some people will chose to be optimistic. However
most people will chose to be pragmatic. Management can change (at both QNX
and Harman) and that does not fit well into any risk management strategy.

This concern is of course not unique to QNX. Notice for example what
Trolltech does to convince people that betting on Qt is safe. Their license
agreement explicitly states that in the event of Trolltech demise, sale or
other circumstances preventing it from continuing to release and support Qt
on the current terms, the Qt source shall be automatically considered
released under BSD license. And they still have hard time ...

-- igor

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:cm5g5d$44k$1@inn.qnx.com...
John Nagle wrote:
This looks like the beginning of the end of QNX as
a usable real-time operating system.

I think you're underestimating the reliability and technology required
by in-car systems. Crashing is absolutely not acceptable: witness the
negative PR that BMW got recently when their system was misbehaving.
Power requirements and instant-on capabilities are far more important
than in a generic computing device. Your in-car computing devices need
to be on at the turn of the key and then use essentially no power
afterwards.

I don't believe that automotive goals for QNX are going to be in any way
incompatable with the requirements for medical or telecom or military or
any other high reliability realtime product.

cheers,

Kris
Igor Kovalenko
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Steinhoff » Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:08 pm

Igor Kovalenko wrote:
I agree with that, but my concern is of different nature.

Consider you're looking for a plot of land to build something expensive that
you're going to use for decades. Would you rather find a place where you can
buy a suitable plot of land or go with a generous offer of another
manufacturer (who at this point may not be a direct competitor but has
history of acquisitions and is looking to expand his business into new
areas) to sublease his plot? That plot is darn nice, but they can only sign
a short-term sublease (you'd have to renew every year or so)?

Corporate culture is all about risk management. There are many ways to
assess the same event and some people will chose to be optimistic. However
most people will chose to be pragmatic. Management can change (at both QNX
and Harman) and that does not fit well into any risk management strategy.

This kind of 'risk management strategy' seems to be a little bit
curious. Life is short ... also for managers :)

Management can change from day to day ... this can't be a realistic base
for any decision.


Regards

Armin

This concern is of course not unique to QNX. Notice for example what
Trolltech does to convince people that betting on Qt is safe. Their license
agreement explicitly states that in the event of Trolltech demise, sale or
other circumstances preventing it from continuing to release and support Qt
on the current terms, the Qt source shall be automatically considered
released under BSD license. And they still have hard time ...

-- igor

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:cm5g5d$44k$1@inn.qnx.com...

John Nagle wrote:

This looks like the beginning of the end of QNX as
a usable real-time operating system.

I think you're underestimating the reliability and technology required
by in-car systems. Crashing is absolutely not acceptable: witness the
negative PR that BMW got recently when their system was misbehaving.
Power requirements and instant-on capabilities are far more important
than in a generic computing device. Your in-car computing devices need
to be on at the turn of the key and then use essentially no power
afterwards.

I don't believe that automotive goals for QNX are going to be in any way
incompatable with the requirements for medical or telecom or military or
any other high reliability realtime product.

cheers,

Kris


Steinhoff
QNX Master
 
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2002 11:56 am

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby Igor Kovalenko » Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 am

"Armin Steinhoff" <a-steinhoff@web.de> wrote in message
news:cm6890$liu$1@inn.qnx.com...
Igor Kovalenko wrote:
I agree with that, but my concern is of different nature.

Consider you're looking for a plot of land to build something expensive
that
you're going to use for decades. Would you rather find a place where you
can
buy a suitable plot of land or go with a generous offer of another
manufacturer (who at this point may not be a direct competitor but has
history of acquisitions and is looking to expand his business into new
areas) to sublease his plot? That plot is darn nice, but they can only
sign
a short-term sublease (you'd have to renew every year or so)?

Corporate culture is all about risk management. There are many ways to
assess the same event and some people will chose to be optimistic.
However
most people will chose to be pragmatic. Management can change (at both
QNX
and Harman) and that does not fit well into any risk management
strategy.

This kind of 'risk management strategy' seems to be a little bit
curious. Life is short ... also for managers :)

Yes Armin, I know that. This would not be an issue by itself, but it becomes
an issue when management of your vendor has interests at their heart other
than the product you're buying/using. Today Harman is promising that they
will let QNX to continue to sell to their competitors, but you can't take
that promise to a bank. Tomorrow they may change their mind. You're
effectively at their mercy.

-- igor
Igor Kovalenko
 

Re: QNX sold - the beginning of the end

Postby John Nagle » Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:19 am

Igor Kovalenko wrote:
This concern is of course not unique to QNX. Notice for example what
Trolltech does to convince people that betting on Qt is safe. Their license
agreement explicitly states that in the event of Trolltech demise, sale or
other circumstances preventing it from continuing to release and support Qt
on the current terms, the Qt source shall be automatically considered
released under BSD license.

Now that's the beginning of a good idea. That, plus source
code escrow, would go a long way towards assuring customers that
QNX will be usable in the future.

We, as a society, need QNX, or something at least as good,
for systems that have to work.

John Nagle
John Nagle
 

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