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It's interesting to see that Contiki is taking the lead in this space, since it was once going toe-to-toe with another open source OS for wireless embedded networked devices, TinyOS. TinyOS had a large following in the research community and I believe it was used in several commercial sensor network deployments by Dust Networks and Arch Rock and at least one other Korean startup company -- that i believe is still using it in their deployments.

Adam Dunkel has done a nice job of pulling Contiki from the obscure research community and into the commercial space and is riding the "internet of things" wave right now. We'll see if it lasts. I'm not familiar with what developments have taken place on their OS since maybe 2010 or so.

I think a major factor is that TinyOS is written in nesC, so to bootstrap it on a new device you first have to get the nesC compiler ported, then get the OS working. Contiki, meanwhile, is written in fairly vanilla C.

Output of the nesC compiler is one big C-file, so no problems there.

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