MobileIron for Microsoft Windows Embedded 8 Handheld
Tomas Vetrovsky | January 16, 2013
Ruggedized Windows devices are a core part of mobile strategy for many companies, especially those in the retail, manufacturing, logistics, field service, and hospitality industries.
On January 14th, 2013 Microsoft announced a new version of Windows for embedded devices – Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. This is compelling for enterprise customers because it not only provides an updated roadmap for Windows ruggedized deployments, but it also offers new features to make deployments much easier.
The new Windows Embedded 8 is built on the Windows Phone 8 platform. This is not surprising because Microsoft has always leveraged OS cores for different platforms, e.g., Windows CE core for Windows Mobile, and Windows XP core for Windows XP Embedded.
However, the exciting part for enterprise customers is that Microsoft has completely ported their mobile device management (MDM) protocol from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Embedded 8 . MobileIron has worked closely with Microsoft as part of its Technology Adoption Program (TAP) since last summer to fully support Windows Phone 8 devices. This means the recently released MobileIron Version 5.5 also supports Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, along with Android, iOS, Mac OS, and Windows Phone.
The Windows Embedded 8 Handheld OS will have some additional APIs for scanners, imagers, and payment devices. These will be released later this year, and my team at MobileIron will be working closely with Microsoft so those APIs can be programmatically configured and controlled through the MobileIron Windows solution.
For hardware these days, Microsoft goes deep instead of wide. For Windows Embedded 8 hardware, Microsoft is following the Windows Phone 8 model and working with fewer companies, but working with them more deeply, to build the devices. The OEMs announced so far are Intermec/Honeywell (Honeywell acquired Intermec in December 2012), Motorola, Ingenico, and Bluebird.
If you are a MobileIron customer or partner interested in managing Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, just make sure you are running MobileIron Version 5.5 or higher to be ready for a quick and easy deployment.