Why Open Source Arduino Won

Wednesday Feb 16th 2011 by Keith Vance
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The Arduino IDE and driver work on Mac, Linux and Windows, and tons of object-oriented libraries are available for Arduino to make complex tasks easy.

More than 100,000 open source Arduino boards are on the market, it's the king of the hill in the electronics world for hobbyists, artists and designers. MAKE senior editor Phillip Torrone explains why.

The Arduino IDE runs on Mac, Linux and Windows. The driver actually works on Mac, Linux and Windows. There are tons of object-oriented libraries for Arduino to make complex tasks easy. It's lightweight and the code runs on bare metal so it's fast too. Arduino has sensors. It's cheap. It's open source.

"Why else is it here to stay?." Torrone explains, "The community. How can you get 100,000+ people to jump ship? You can't. To get close, you'll need to develop something just like the Arduino, support its shields and accessories, and write a lot of code (something chip companies hate to do.) Great software for multiple systems, lots of libraries, drivers that work, simple, low cost, and open source. And you know what? I think that's what the Arduino team really wants. They're techno-hippies--they want to see other platforms with the same ideals--that's the game they're actually playing. And I think it's what we all want, whether it's called an Arduino or not."


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