If you're a student, a hobbyist with ambitions for productizing your embedded creation, or part of a budget-strapped startup beginning active development of an embedded design, there's a present you might not have known you got for Christmas. (It was actually announced in November.) Micrium is making its popular μC/OS-III RTOS and IoT protocol stacks available free of charge while you're getting established. You won't need to pay a licensing fee unless or until your company exceeds $100k in revenue or $1M in funding. Students and educators at accredited institutions get an even better deal.
Free access to software and tools is not a new concept, but Micrium has added a few new wrinkles. Instead of being a time- or capacity-limited version of the RTOS and tools, Micrium is making its regular commercial version of μC/OS-III available. Along with the RTOS, the associated TCP/IP, USB Host, USB Device, and ModBus stacks as well as the file system are also being made freely available. Even more, they come with complete documentation, video training, and space-available access to live training seminars. Micrium is even including its μC Probe tool for access into system memory during run-time.
Educators and students get an even better deal. Not only is all this stuff freely available to them, they can also get their hands on in-class training and training materials.
The only stipulation for makers and startups, beyond the funding limitations, is that you give Micrium the right to name you as a customer. That, and you agree to license the software at commercial rates once your product or business passes the financial thresholds. But there's no contract to sign, apparently, just a simple registration. According to Micrium CEO Jean Labrosse, who briefed me on this offering at ARM TechCon, the whole thing is being done on an honor system. The company simply expects you to establish the appropriate contract with them should any products you create based on their RTOS achieve market success.