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Warehousing Industry Insight

The Warehouse is Changing

More item-level picking and returns. A dizzying amount of complexity. Demands for shorter delivery times. High workforce turnover. All these factors are putting you under greater pressure to fulfill more orders in less time with fewer long-term employees. That’s the new reality of warehousing.

On top of that, you can’t afford to ignore what’s going to happen after January 1, 2020. Microsoft® is ending its extended support of Windows® Embedded and Mobile operating systems. That means more security risks and diminishing capabilities from your legacy Windows devices.

How well you adapt to these forces depends in great part on how quickly you migrate to modern mobile devices—modernizing with Android™ is the path to faster, leaner operations.

Four Changes Warehouses Can't Avoid

Make This a Pivotal Moment by Modernizing Your Mobile Computing Devices
e-commerce icon

E-commerce Boom

$4.5 trillion online global retail sales by 20211
Time crunch icon

Time Crunch

78% of logistics firms expect to offer same-day deliveries2
Labor Shortage icon

Labor Shortage

36% rate of worker turnover3
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Microsoft's End of Support

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 by 2020
Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 by 2021

Sources: (1) Zebra Warehousing 2020 Global Study, Zebra 2016; (2) The Future of Fulfillment Vision Study, Zebra 2018; (3) Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

Learn How Zebra's Android Technology Can Enhance Your Warehouse Operations

Get the expertise you need on Android migration.

Move the productivity needle with Zebra’s Android warehouse portfolio.

Built-in intelligence gives your warehouse devices exponential power.

Insights Into Today's Warehouse Industry
Warehouse employee holding a box and speaking into a headset.
Modernizing the Warehouse with Android Webinar

Frequently Asked Questions

You have migration questions. We have answers.

+ 1. When is Microsoft ending support for Windows?

Microsoft will be ending its extended support as follows:

  • January 1, 2020, for Windows Embedded and mobile operating systems.
  • January 1, 2021, for Windows Embedded Compact.

+ 2. What does “the end of Microsoft support” mean and how does it affect me?

Windows Embedded 6.5 has a support life cycle during which new features like bug fixes, security fixes, and so on are provided by Microsoft. This life cycle typically lasts for 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release—the end of which is known as the product’s end of support. When Windows® Embedded 6.5 reaches its end of support in 2020, and Windows® Embedded Compact 7.0 reaches its end of support in 2021, Microsoft will no longer be providing:

  • Technical support for problems that may occur.
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server.
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches.
  • Time zone updates.
  • You will stop receiving service packs of new features, but much more importantly, you’ll no longer receive security updates, leaving you exposed to breaches and criminal activity.

+ 3. Should I upgrade now?

Yes – Online orders will only continue to escalate as delivery times shorten and labor forces remain volatile. If you’re going to keep pace with new demands and keep devices secure, upgrade the devices workers use day in and day out.

+ 4. Should I still migrate if my current devices work just fine?

Yes – Some parts such as chips are no longer being made on legacy Windows devices. If Zebra runs out of stock, then you’ll be forced to retire the device. That can disrupt your daily operations.

+ 5. Why is it better to upgrade an entire device versus just the OS?

New hardware brings improved functionality, continuity of parts (less chance of issues with supply components), better battery performance and productivity gains thanks to intuitive user interfaces on new form factors.

+ 6. Can I avoid having to recustomize my apps?

Yes – It depends on the application. Zebra's All-Touch Terminal Emulation, powered by Ivanti, can run on your devices in green-screen mode right out of the box. For other apps, migration is inevitable, given Microsoft’s end of support. It’s just a question of when you want to seize the advantages of modern technology. Now or later?

+ 7. Is Android™ secure?

Yes – Android has demonstrated a history of incremental security enhancements, such as NSA “Security Enhanced” (SELinux) features, per-user VPNs, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), etc. Android OS is meeting regulatory security certifications in multiple verticals, including retail via PCI DSS, healthcare’s HIPAA and government’s FIPS 140-2.

+ 8. Are security breaches a threat to the warehousing industry?

Yes – Any business can be a target. Most of your devices run on Windows CE, a 20-year-old operating system. They’re simply not architected to handle modern-day threats. Think of Spectre. Microsoft declared that it is not going to be patching these devices for such vulnerabilities, which can stall your operations.

+ 9. Standard Android OS support lasts for three years. How does Zebra support my device for five to ten years?

Vendors of consumer devices end security support after just three years, which is well short of the five plus years of service that you require. With the purchase of Zebra OneCare, you can extend the protection of your Zebra Android devices up to 10 years with LifeGuard™ for Android. LifeGuard gives you predictable, periodic security updates and legacy OS security support when transitioning to a newer OS. Frequent updates will enhance your security, and LifeGuard makes them easy to install at your discretion, either locally or remotely.