Dealing With Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life
One of the most important operating systems that at one time underpinned many enterprise mobility deployments is about to enter the last phase of its life. So how do you go about dealing with Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life ?
Long before iOS and Android Microsoft announced Windows CE in 1996. The OS was designed to operate satisfactorily on the small memory capacities of palm sized devices at the time. Although recognised by many as targeted at hand held computers many platforms ended up using derivatives of CE.
In the enterprise mobility market Windows CE, Windows Mobile, and Pocket PC are often used interchangeably this is in no doubt in part due to their common origin. This practice is not entirely accurate. You can read more about the history of Windows “CE” here. and Windows “Mobile” here.
Windows CE Legacy
A roll call of key Windows CE based devices used in the enterprise would generate a blog post of epic length. These are three of our favourite devices that were sold in large quantities all across the world into a variety of application areas including Manufacturing T&L and Retail,
A faltering mobile OS business hurt Microsoft for many years, although popular in the enterprise due to high adoption market appropriate hardware and plentiful development tools. Versions of the OS for phones had been losing market share since 2007.
End of an Era Key Dates
These EoL dates have been trailed by Microsoft for some time.
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 went EoL in June of 2018
June 2019 – Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld
January 2020 – Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
So What Comes Next
For many users this will be something to discuss with their software vendor. The coming Microsoft Windows CE OS end of life may make little difference if the devices are working and no major system upgrades are planned. However patch support will cease and as hardware itself becomes EoL and developer resource dries up it will be time to move on to something else. What that is very much depends on your circumstances, there is no one sized fits all approach. In a straight swap the main options for many sites are clearly Android a traditional rugged tablet on Windows 10 or a Microsoft Surface. Some may consider iOS but it has its drawbacks when it comes to device management.
Don’t let the Microsoft Windows CE OS End of Life get the better of your operation. Call us to discuss how we can help you weigh up the options and plan for the future.