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Hardware Tip: Preparing for Operating Systems’ End of Life

No, the hardware zombie apocalypse is not coming, but Microsoft will soon reach its end of life for support for the Windows CE and Windows Embedded Handheld.  Starting this June through 2020, Microsoft will phase out their support of various Windows Embedded Operating Systems. And since most rugged devices are currently running these systems today, it’s time to start planning the move to other Operating Systems as you begin to replace your older handhelds. 

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When Is Microsoft Ending Support for Windows OS on Handhelds?

If you’re running a Windows CE or Windows Embedded Handheld today, these are the dates to be aware of:

  • June 10, 2018 - Windows Embedded CE 6.0 will be End of Life
  • June 9, 2019 -  Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld will be End of Life
  • January 14, 2020 - Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 will be End of Life

2020 is right around the corner, and you need to make sure you have an upgrade strategy over the next 2 years to ensure there are no hiccups in your operations.

Steps to Take to Prepare for OS End Of Life

As you are planning, you need to take into account how many devices you need to upgrade.  We are finding that the leading Operating System to consider is Android. Android is a common Operating System used on phones, which makes the user experience that much better as your users will already be acclimated to Android. And thanks to top hardware manufacturers, there is a big push to put current versions of Android onto rugged devices and handhelds for the warehouse. Android is also easier to develop on, which makes it a very common platform for a ton of other applications.

While the below is our personal opinion based on feedback from Customers who have tested Android in their operations, here’s a helpful guide to assist you as you weigh your hardware upgrade options:

  • Retail Grade
    -  Dolphin 75e (Honeywell)
    -  TC 70/75 (Zebra)
  • Rugged Device
    -  CT50 - Great for the medical field (Honeywell)
    -  TC70/75 (Zebra)
  • Ultra-Rugged Device
    -  MC9200 (Zebra)
    -  TC8000 – A new device, this one is easy to set up and very easy to use (Zebra)

End of Life might seem scary, but if you plan ahead, there is nothing to begin panicking over. Our hardware team is here to help you find the right device to grow with you into the future. And if the zombie apocalypse comes, we’ll be here for you then, too.