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Say Goodbye to Windows Mobile: Microsoft Ending Win Mobile and CE Embedded

Written by Tim Ingles
February 20, 2019

Windows Mobile is Winding Down

With Microsoft electing to no longer develop so many mobile Windows OS products, the need to migrate to Android or iOS is greater than ever.

Once gung-ho about competing against Google Android and Apple iOS, in January 2019 Microsoft announced they are ending their mobile journey—along with all support for their Windows mobile platform (aka “Mobile OS” or “Windows Phone”). Going forward, Microsoft plans to redirect efforts into supporting their Android and iOS mobile apps.

What does this mean for enterprises using Windows mobile hardware?

Migrate before it becomes a pain point.

Even Microsoft is advising Mobile users to move over to Android or iOS. Combined with the end of many Windows CE products, users still running Windows-based mobile devices are facing an end to security patches, leaving those systems highly vulnerable and open to decreasing reliability.

While RFgen will continue to support Windows devices to prevent interruptions, your security and device-level replacements will be affected by the Microsoft sunsetting.

Honeywell to the Rescue with Android Devices

With Windows Mobile OS sunsetting, it’s important to know that there is no need to panic. Hardware manufacturers like Honeywell already offer a large variety of high-powered rugged devices purpose-built for enterprise use.

For example, here are some of my top picks:

Cutting Edge Ultra-Rugged Mobile Computer

Future-proof your hardware investment with the state-of-the-art Honeywell Dolphin CN80.

  • Handles 1D/2D Scanning, large touchscreen and lead range up to 50-feet
  • Versatile capabilities in the warehouse, cold storage, shop floor and in the field
  • Features an Advanced Enterprise Lifecycle Toolset

Ready and Rugged Enterprise Tablet

The ScanPal EDA70 enterprise-ready tablet is the perfect tool for scan-intensive workflows.

  • Light-weight, enterprise-grade tablet with 7-inch screen
  • Ideal for customer engagement and fast data capture
  • Features 1D/2D scanning, built-in camera and full-shift battery life

Mobile Rugged Vehicle-Mount Computer

The Thor VM1A mobilize your vehicles with hardware designed for harsh and challenging environments.

  • Easy to upkeep, ergonomic design and extended security update support
  • Maximizes productivity, minimizes visual obstructions, and reduces or eliminates downtime
  • Smart Dock keeps hardware running, even when vehicles fail or workloads change

Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Computer

Enterprise mobility is here to stay with the Dolphin CT60 featuring advanced data capture capabilities.

  • Put business-critical applications and data into the hands of those that need it, when they need it
  • Accelerate provisioning, certifications and deployment with Mobility Edge
  • Features 2D scanning and large file transfer capabilities for photos and video streaming

Want to learn more? Click here for a more information about mobile computing hardware.

The End of Windows Mobile OS

Windows Mobile will deliver its final patch on December 10, 2019. That may sound like it’s a long way off, but in terms of device selection, purchase, and implementation, it isn’t. Consider how much time is required to search out new hardware solutions, develop a migration strategy, test your new tech and then train teams on the new systems, and you will quickly realize just how little time there is.

That’s a lot to fit in before support ends.

Former Windows Phone chief, Terry Myerson, believed that Microsoft was too far behind to compete with Android, even with their “incomplete Windows CE platform, designed for small embedded systems.”

Microsoft’s strategy appears to support this statement. They haven’t updated the Win Mobile platform in any meaningful way since version 1709 back in October 2017.

While some services and security features will continue to operate after December 2019, backup functionality will end in March 2020, and restoring devices from backup images will lose functionality by March 2021.

Don’t Forget: Windows Embedded Support Also Ending

And in case you haven’t read about it yet, Win 10 Mobile isn’t the only OS Microsoft is sunsetting. Several Windows Embedded OS products are on their way to becoming obsolete (or have already):

  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0: Support has ended.
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Support ends July 2019.
  • Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5: Extended support ends January 2020.
  • The list goes on.

If you’d like to talk about your options with an expert, feel free to contact me anytime to discuss your mobile hardware needs. I can help you find a solution that fits the unique requirements of your business.