I’ve heard people declare Windows Mobile (WM), along with the devices and applications that run on WM, to be dead.
This is largely based on Microsoft’s official end of mainstream support date of January 8, 2013 for WM 6.5, with no extended support offered.
However, the reality is that Microsoft simply shifted gears with its mobile strategy several years ago, and made a play on the smartphone market with Windows Phone. During this strategic shift, Microsoft introduced a new “flavor” of the WM operating system, called Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 (WEHH 6.5).
According to Microsoft:
Built on the Windows Mobile 6.5. platform, Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 enables OEMs and enterprises to achieve application portability between Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Embedded Handheld devices, running mobile line-of-business applications on a platform that ensures that data is captured securely and efficiently.
So, what Microsoft is telling us, is that WEHH 6.5 supports all applications that were supported on WM 6.5 (WM 6.x actually). Microsoft has also announced extended support of WEHH 6.5 until Jan 14, 2020. That equates to a bit more than four more years of official support for rugged field devices like the Trimble Juno 3/5 series, Geo 5/7 series, and Nomad 1050 series; the handheld Nautiz X8; the Juniper Mesa and Archer 2; and the applications that run on these devices (Esri ArcPad, Trimble TerraSync, etc.).
Microsoft even released an update to WEHH 6.5 to support SHA2 encryption, which supports the latest ArcGIS Online security update.
Are you still actively using Windows Mobile or Windows Embedded Handheld devices for your Mobile GIS and field data collection projects? Are you confused about what operating system is on your current device? Please comment and let us know!
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 product page