Portech launches Urgent Android Migration service for Windows embedded devices

Businesses using discontinued Microsoft Windows Embedded OS devices are vulnerable to attacks and data loss, so Portech Systems, an expert in bespoke solutions for the enterprise mobile workforce, has launched the Urgent Android Migration service for organisations that have not started the planning process to migrate their Windows Embedded Mobile 6.5 devices and scanners.

Any business that is still using Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, particularly in the warehouse, manufacturing and retail sectors, will be affected as support will come to an end in January 2020.

Alarmingly, a recent enterprise mobility study revealed that more than 50 percent of decision-makers said they will remain on legacy Windows after the End of Life phase or are still evaluating their options. This means that organisations will be running software that’s no longer supported or patched, resulting in the potential for data compromise and financial losses.

The Urgent Android Migration service will help organisations to make timely, business-critical decisions to ensure business continuity and minimise the cost of the transition to a new Android Operating System (OS).

It includes an analysis of current device landscape, functionality and requirements for solutions and apps, guidance with selecting an appropriate device, migration and post-migration support.

Director of Portech, Shaz Naeem, a mobile industry veteran with 40 years’ experience, explains: “Sadly, we know of businesses that are not being proactive about the end of support for Windows, but once devices start to fail, that’s when the problems arise. Over the last quarter, more and more IT teams have approached us about looking to move away from Windows. While there is no quick fix for migration especially with complex and large installations, there is a compelling case for us to launch a service that helps companies to start the process now, so that productivity losses are minimised during the smooth migration to the Android operating system.”

The Android OS is the number one platform that organisations are choosing to replace legacy Windows, with key features including:

As an open-source platform, Android OS enables developers to respond quickly when users need new functionality or need to scale their deployments. These include custom security APIs, hardware integration APIs, and more robust mobile device management features.

Android is currently the most used mobile OS in the world. Most members of a workforce are already familiar with the platform and that ease of use and familiarity makes the transition much easier.

There is a wide selection of Android-compatible hardware that is rugged and designed for high-volume use in industrial settings.

Google and its Android platform partners have been investing heavily in application development to expand and improve applications.

Portech has launched the service to complement its work in developing enterprise mobile enterprise applications and support. With over 25 years’ experience, Portech has clients that are confident in the team’s ability to deliver a wide range of projects, from logistics, warehousing, retail, merchandising to field service and much more.

Naeem concludes: “The release of Microsoft’s Pocket PC OS in 2000 revolutionised the use of mobile devices in the workplace. Portech was there to witness this revolution and from the onset began to develop and distribute new applications to function on the new OS. Along with the new applications, we helped companies port across their existing desktop and laptop applications to function on these new devices. This experience puts all those looking to migrate from Windows in very good hands.”



What Makes A Device Rugged?

With consumer devices now boasting IP67 ratings, it can be challenging to convince your customers that IP ratings are only part of what makes a device truly rugged. That’s why we’ve created an infographic to aid your conversations.
Rugged devices are put through various tests to ensure they can survive the most extreme outdoor environments. These include sudden temperature changes, the ability to fully operate after drops from 3m and exposure to varying effects of atmospheric pressure, plus many more.

HTC to unveil HTC 10 phone with enterprise-friendly features

HTC is expected to unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the 10, at an online launch event scheduled for April 12.

Features of the new HTC 10 phone of interest to enterprise users include Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820 chip with Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB of RAM and 23GB of free internal storage supplemented by a microSD slot, which should bump up storage to around 32GB in total (minus operating system and preloaded software), according to VentureBeat’s Evan Bass, who had spoken to a source who had seen the prototype.

The 5.1-inch HTC 10 is expected to run Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and have HTC’s Sense 8.0 user interface and a 1440 x 2560 QHD display. It will feature a rear-facing camera with 12-pixel resolution and laser-assisted autofocus. Both the front-facing and rear-facing lenses offer optical image stabilization, according to Bass.

HTC is counting on the HTC 10 to be a big hit to help it rebound from several quarters of losses, reported Diana Goovaerts with WirelessWeek. In its most recent quarter, HTC reported an operating loss of $126.8 million on $794.8 million in revenue, the third consecutive quarterly loss for the Taiwan-based


Prepare your business for the future of mobility – AT&T

Whitepaper: Prepare Your Business for the Future of Mobility

The mobile market is evolving, and organizations must be ready to meet the needs of a multi-device mobile environment that includes not only smartphones and tablets, but also wearables and smart devices in the IoT.

This whitepaper from AT&T provides key insight into new challenges, including:


  • BYOD and Corporate Device Management
  • Mobile Application Strategy
  • Tools for Mobile Workforce Productivity
  • Seamless Cross-platform Implementation and Security

Download here




Rugged vs Consumer Devices


The rugged vs consumer debate has been an on-going technology discussion in the channel with a number of businesses choosing consumer devices over their superior rugged counterparts on the belief that they are more cost effective.

The issue we see is that while investing in rugged technology is a long-term investment for the true value to be fully realised, businesses are taking a short-term view on spending based on their immediate budgets. When the cost of rugged devices are compared to their consumer grade counterparts, businesses see the consumer device as a radical cost saving.

What isn’t considered is that three years on the consumer devices will have cost far more than forecast due to failure rates and breakages in comparison to rugged devices that have been specifically designed to handle critical working environments.

“A consumer-market tablet cost of £550 including a ‘rugged’ case would typically return an annual field failure level of 25%, and possibly more, when used in demanding working environments. A purpose-built rugged tablet will cost £1,500 with a three-year warranty and support package, and have an expected field failure rate sub-3% over that three years. That’s three times or so the initial cost, but a significant improvement on operational life expectancy, and minimum down-time in the field.” – Peter Molyneux, UK President, Getac

Failure rates of consumer grade devices can be as high as 30% a year, yet businesses still perceive them to be the most cost effective. What businesses don’t recognise is the cost of disruption and inefficiency that impacts the workforce due to downtime.

Rugged mobile devices are designed from the ground up to withstand harsh environments and have many integrated components such as barcode scanners, digital cameras, GPS, WAN, LAN radios, and Bluetooth. They are also designed to be fully functional in extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain and cold working environments where users wear gloves, or bright sunlight. This functionality is often overlooked when businesses are seeking to deploy new devices.

This video of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 is a brilliant example of how rugged devices are built specifically for mission-critical mobile workers, and highlights where consumer grade devices fall short.