why SD is dead (or dying)
All of the following is IMHO, so if you aren't afraid to read something that is incorrect (or at least correct me), do not feel the need to proceed any further.
It seems to me that SD was a great idea in the beginning. I'm not sure what was available at the time of conception (looking up "streetdeck" in wikipedia didn't return any results, nor RR for that matter), but SD was targeting the "mp3car" market, the "enthusiasts". It was written for windows XP, which everyone used at the time, and has an "Enthusiast" price to go with it (niche products always seem more expensive). Simple assumption? okay then lets proceed.
Lately it seems that as the market has awakened up to the idea that car entertainment can be sooo much more than just just a cd player, and SD has found itself rather orphaned. Sure, it's looks great and has lots of great features that you'd want, but it's orphaned from mass appeal because of the platform. Yes, that means windows XP.
With XP soon reaching end-of-life (no microsoft will not support it forever), and Vista being far from the solution, companies in the car entertainment sphere are forced to overlook it. Throw in licensing fees for windows and SD and you've got another gotcha. Most companies have gone the route of developing their own sub-par applications.
Sure, there is XPe, but, after doing a little research, you find that the problem of licensing costs, along with the need to targeting specific hardware architectures (eg, Arm, MIPS, PPC, etc) too limiting. XP and XPe are x86 only and don't have the ability to be mission critical for time sensative data like performance statistics+advanced sound processing because XP and XPe aren't real-time operating systems, and they aren't reentrant.
So that leaves SD in the space only for enthusiasts -a space where it has become very hard to compete in. Open source apps that are free, which have a large developer base (ie, RR), provide faster updates and more content than SD can, being closed and commercially developed. I don't think it is going to be very viable for any commercial, non-open car entertainment application to survive in this space for very long either. Bigger, better, faster moving, and more open apps are going to apppear and they just won't be able to keep up.
Now, SD needs to reinvent itself. It needs to drop it's dependency on DirectX and WMP. It needs to embrace open standards like OpenGL. It needs to disassociate itself from XP and become more hardware and OS agnostic. SD can remain closed-source and become more profitable because they will be able to sell solutions on multiple platforms and architectures. Furthermore, all other solutions who want to be more than "Johny's pet project" had better follow suit.
This is going to take a lot of work however. SD may have to scrub all it's code and start all over. It's what happens when you paint yourself into a corner like that.
just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.:crazy: