: In those situations where the user must act interactive in real-time, for example if he is stearing something, then you add buttons and a LCD to the microcontroller, you don't throw a PC at him
I agree. The niche that I have found, and am referring too, is control systems. The RAM limitations of the DOS environment aren't really an issue as a practical matter because the programs aren't that big. Any required "multi-tasking" is handled with seperate task specific controllers whose functions are coordinated by the DOS target (dedicated motion controllers, motor drives, and I/O handlers).
It is true that our chief competitors are tending to incorporate touch screens and Windows into their machinery, but in my opinion it is much
easier to operate machinery when you give the user a joystick and buttons to control the equipement. It frees up the eyes and is more intuitive, but there is also something else. I have always thought it looked "cheesy" for a $70,000-$140,000 robotic machine to sport a display running MS Windows. Almost like the programmer/design team couldn't figure out the HMI on their own, so they ran to Mr. Gates and his crew to help them out.
Now I better duck again before you throw your PC at me.