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Article ID: 130
Which Mobile Operating System is Best for You?
30/Dec/2014

Selecting the best rugged mobile solution to support enterprise workflows and applications is anything but simple given the multitude of options available to organizations.  With a myriad of choices available comes a certain degree of flexibility and opportunity to leverage corporate strengths while focusing on areas that need improvement/greater efficiency or to further differentiate.  Along with the flexibility these options provide, comes the arduous task of evaluating mobility choices and properties associated with them: form factor, operating system, functionality, features, connectivity, security and a line of business (LOB) software solution to guide employees through productive execution of daily tasks.
Organizations have clear, hard requirements of enterprise LOB mobility solutions:  3-5 year product life cycle, security, reliability, support, and a full complement of accessories. All organizations are keenly aware of what downtime means in terms of productivity and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with LOB solutions.  
This whitepaper will explore one critical piece of the enterprise mobility selection challenge:  Operating Systems with implied development options for enterprise mobility devices.   
 

Introduction
Ruggedized mobile computers have been driving mobility in the workplace for decades.  The evolution of platforms embracing new and maturing technologies are creating new markets and opportunities for enhancing user experience, creating efficiencies and improving productivity in the workplace.  One of the key factors for the success of mobility in the enterprise has been Microsoft’s embedded platforms providing security, stability and reliability.  This whitepaper covers current Microsoft platforms as well as the paradigm shift we are experiencing with Android’s popularity. It will also discuss Datalogic’s mission to actively invest and research the best options and platforms to enhance and guarantee enterprise customers’ mobility success and profitability.
By Microsoft definition, Windows Embedded platforms target specialized devices such as ruggedized mobile computers, ATMs, Kiosks and others.  Windows Embedded CE kernel had been at the heart of Windows Embedded CE and Windows Embedded Handheld (Windows Mobile), both targeting specialized rugged handheld devices that are mission critical for line of business (LOB) applications.  Windows, on the other hand, focuses on general purpose computing such as PCs, laptops and tablets and targets both enterprise and consumer environments.  
The release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 has changed this paradigm.  Windows 8 is now at the core of Windows Phone, Windows Embedded, and full Windows for the desktop/laptop/tablet, while the CE kernel continues fueling Windows Embedded Compact 2013 (WEC 2013), and of course CE 6 and WEC 7.  Public acceptance and success for Microsoft’s new tactic remains to be seen as this strategy has left enterprise wondering about the viability and future of both Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Compact OS for long term investment.
Android, on the other hand, has disrupted rugged mobile device’s monogamous relationship with Microsoft Windows Embedded and is proving itself as a viable alternative.  Android success, up to now, has been with consumer devices, while the takeover of Microsoft Windows Embedded market share remains to be decided by enterprise end customers.  The positive and most convincing fact about Android’s determination to play in enterprise markets would be the significant changes it has undergone in the last couple of years to secure and stabilize the platform for LOB applications.  Google’s efforts and rugged handheld device and solution providers consortium to create standards to protect long-term enterprise investment is demonstrating fruitful results.
 

by: pangbk

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