The OS Landscape for Enterprise Mobility

Change is Inevitable for Enterprise OS

The likelihood of your mobile devices running on either Windows CE or Windows Mobile is a pretty sure thing.  And much like death and taxes, the other sure thing is MicroSoft is ending support of both versions in 2020. 

We find ourselves at a cross roads . . . do we stay with the familiarity of Windows, the enterprise platform for the past 20 years? Or do we join the quickly expanding world of Android? Hard call, since the transition for both is not seamless. neither option will be a seamless transition. 

Here is what we are seeing from our top OEM Partners . . .

Zebra Technologies

Hanging Their Hat on Android

Zebra is fully embracing Android. That is not to say they are completely moving away from Windows, but the majority of their products, old and new, are now offered with Android as an option.  And in some cases, with Android OS only. 

As Zebra explains, a number of factors went into the decision to take the “Android path”:

  • No Windows Mobile update since 2009 has forced consumers to seek an alternative.
  • No seamless transition to another OS exists; all will require a rewrite of some sort including Microsoft.
  • Android has 80% of the consumer market and Zebra does not believe an enterprise platform can survive without consumer acceptance. 

The benefits of first having broad acceptance in the consumer market are big.  Per Zebra stats, there are over 180 manufacturers and over 550 unique Android mobile devices available in the US alone. The magnitude of Android devices being produced has a ripple effect in that:

  • Major silicon and microprocessor vendors like Qualcom, TI, Intel, MediaTek and others are all supporting and developing for the Android platform. 
  • Application development for Android is in hyper-drive with over 2 million apps already on the market, which is comparable to the number of iOS apps.

From an internal standpoint, Zebra has developed an extensive library of MX extensions for Android. These extension cover everything from security to application management, to device configuration and more, minimizing the pain points of transitioning to a different OS by enabling Android devices to do everything your Windows devices are doing in your enterprise.     

Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions

No Wrong OS Choice, Just Tradeoffs

Honeywell sees the evolving OS landscape as still coming into focus and therefore has taken a more conservative stance by stating, “There is no wrong OS choice, simply tradeoffs to evaluate.” And to demonstrate this, Honeywell has introduced several mobile devices that can be switched from Windows 10 to Android and vice versa. 

Choose Windows if . . .

  • You're satisfied with existing application functionality and enhancements of new OS do not outweigh investment to redesign
  • Your mobile strategy is somewhat conservative and leans towards a "proven" technology
  • There is a high urgency to quickly reach full scale operational deployment

Choose Android if . . .

  • Development teams are experienced with or prefer Android
  • You intend to leverage the large consumer applications marketplace
  • Application workflows require extensive new development and support regardless of OS

So there you have it . . . the two largest manufacturers of mobile enterprise devices taking a different approach to this inevitable change.  Stay tuned, as the OS landscape continues to change. 

Ultimately, the road you take must make sense for your organization's long-term mobility strategy. And Adaptive Data is here to help you through that decision making process.