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Modern warfare is undergoing dramatic change; we may have already witnessed our last conventional war. In light of disruptive technological evolution along with severe economic realities, we have reached a point where we must holistically reconsider our approach to specifying, procuring, and developing avionics systems. While efforts such as FACE hold great promise toward the future, we must also consider the role of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) technologies in the development of next generation avionics systems. This presentation will contemplate how commercial software products such as operating systems and middleware can contribute to maintaining our edge in the skies.