I agree - as-is, it looks like the code can only be built with IAR. I've reached out to them to the project owners for additional info on purchasing the module, any open-source hardware files available, any pre-combined binaries to muck around with for those without IAR
- hopefully get a response soon.
I agree that a project of this nature is definitely not using the MCU to it's full potential, but the benefits come in the form of extremely fast rapid prototyping and proof-of-concept development, especially if support is added for MQTT and other protocols right out of the box, like they did on the NodeMCU project. This really lowers the learning curve for beginnings and makes mashing some cool projects together on a weekend well within the reach of the average hobbyist.
I'd love to see what you could do with turning this into a hybrid LUA / RTOS system. I'm a hardware guy so I'm quite inexperienced when it comes to doing RTOS stuff on chips, so the best I could contribute to that would be ample testing. However I do have an Altium Designer license and would be happy to pump out a killer dev board for this module that's much more convenient than the MXCHIP eval board. Of course, I'd love it if it were possible to buy the one shown in the WiFiMCU page photos, but if I don't hear back from them, maybe I'll whip up something similar on my own.