With Nokia’s 770 and N800 Internet Tablets heavily utilising Open Source software, it is timely to ask whether – and if so to what extent – Open Source has made ingress into complex application domains such as embedded systems. In this paper we report on a qualitative study of perceptions of Open Source software in the secondary software sector, and in particular companies deploying embedded software. Although the sector is historically associated in Open Source software studies with uptake of embedded Linux, we find broader acceptance. The level of reasoning about Open Source quality and trust issues found was commensurate with that expressed in the literature. The classical strengths of Open Source, namely mass inspection, ease of conducting trials, longevity and source code access for debugging, were at the forefront of thinking. However, there was an acknowledgement that more guidelines were needed for assessing and incorporating Open Source software in products.
Lundell, Bjorn; Lings, Brian; and Syberfeldt, Anna, "Open Source Software in Complex Domains: Current Perceptions in the Embedded Systems Area" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. Paper 42.