End of Life for Windows Embedded: What to Do Next

One of the biggest shifts in mobile computing is now underway as companies using the Windows Embedded platform are facing the end of life for their operating system.

Microsoft is ending support for all versions of Windows Embedded, which will require virtually every company to migrate to a new OS and rewrite all of its mobile applications and databases.

Here are the key end-of-life dates for all affected operating systems:

The end of Windows Embedded poses two major issues for companies using the platform to power their mobile devices, workflows, and processes:

  1. The end of support means no future OS updates and no security patches. Any company continuing to run a non-patched OS will be vulnerable to data security threats.
    According to the U.S. Department of Homeland security, 31% of all cyber attacks now target small businesses with fewer than 250 employees, so companies of all sizes should have a plan to migrate to a new OS as soon as possible.
  2. The vast majority of the enterprise mobile industry chose not to migrate to Windows Embedded Handheld 8 because it wasn’t compatible with older versions and didn’t support the many screen sizes and form factors required for enterprise mobile computing. Since version 8 is the only version that supports upgrading to Windows 10 IoT, millions of devices are now running older versions that offer no upgrade path.
  3. To migrate to a new OS, applications and databases will require costly and time-consuming rewrites and reconfiguration.


Recommendation for Affected Companies

Given these problems and Microsoft’s poor commitment to enterprise mobility, we strongly recommend a switch to Android. The entire enterprise mobile industry is headed in this direction, with all major enterprise handheld manufacturers now using Android as the primary OS for their devices.

Android is also the world’s most popular mobile operating system and it offers several key advantages over sticking with Windows:

  1. Android offers faster and easier OS migration thanks to its open platform, vast developer resources, and an app store filled with proven enterprise apps.
  2. Android is a more intuitive and easier-to-use platform, and it’s familiar to many workers who already use it on their personal smartphones and tablets.
  3. Android is now a powerfully secure enterprise OS, thanks to device management and Mobility Extensions (Mx) from Zebra. Zebra’s tools give companies complete control over all their mobile devices, applications, and connections, so your mobile computers are as secure as any Windows device. Android is also easier to update and keep secure with over-the-air updates, and Zebra even provides up to 10 years of guaranteed security updates with its LifeGuard for Android™ solution.

In recent years, Zebra has introduced more than 20 rugged Android mobile computing devices, including handheld, wearable, and vehicle-mounted mobile computers as well as enterprise tablets.

The sooner you get on board with Android, the sooner you’ll be able to migrate to a new, modern OS with strong security and numerous operational efficiency benefits. In fact, Zebra’s latest TC8000 Touch Mobile Computer even boosts worker productivity by 14% with a revolutionary Android-based design.

To learn more about the best options for your business, contact Supply Chain Services now for a free consultation. Call 1-866-205-4310 or email us now.

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