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Making A business decision on which mobile hardware and software to use



1. Almost all business owners see their commercial handheld scanner as a tool, more like a cash register than a smartphone. Functionality is their primary concern, not the type of hardware or software it uses. They are usually not technology buffs and could care less who makes the hardware or operating system or application software, just so it works. I love my Android smartphone for what it does, but I would never try to use it for my main business use (as a software development platform). The same applies to scanners for store orders. Just because Android smartphones are great consumer devices does not mean they are the best option for every other possible business use, that makes no sense.

2. Focusing on the operating system to the exclusion of all other factors is an emotional decision, not a logical one. Software professionals should not let personal preferences about consumer devices affect their reasoning about important business decisions. This should be a practical decision based on business reasons, not one based on "religious" devotion to any specific vendor.

3. Google shows no serious interest in the commercial market, based on their actions to date. Everything they do is about driving more search ad revenue, that's why they give away the Android OS to consumer device vendors. So, do not expect them to promote commercial handheld devices. There is no money in that market for them at this point.

4. Motorola continues to embrace the Windows Mobile platform (not Android or Apple platforms). To predict the future of commercial handheld scanning devices, watch what Motorola and similar vendors do. Comparisons to the consumer devices market do not really apply, it is a totally different market.

5. Consumer Android smartphones are not designed for heavy-duty commercial use. They don't survive repeated drops like ruggedized devices ("4 feet to concrete"). Barcode scanning does not work as well as on devices with Symbol scanners.

6. Microsoft will continue to support Windows Mobile until at least 2020. This operating system is not going away in the commercial market for a long time. Microsoft has a large vested interest in the commercial market, unlike Google.

7. If a market for commercial Android devices does emerge (not here yet), then the Jargon Reader deployment engine could be ported to Android at that time.The same apps would run without any change on the new Jargon Reader engine.This would take about $100k and a six month timeframe (very roughly).

8. Security issues on WM and Android handhelds:
There have been NO security problems on any of the thousands of devices that run Jargon applications on WM. Hackers do not attack WM devices. Instead, they attack servers and the most popular consumer PC and handheld platforms.

Jargon applications use compressed XML (no white space), and the embedded SQL database can be password protected. SSL is also supported for any host interaction.

Hackers ARE going after the multi-millions of Android consumer devices.

Many Android devices in use have unpatched security holes:


Here's a new article on the high rate of increase in Android security threats, from a Computerworld news feed:

Note especially this comment about the risks of using a consumer device for both personal and business uses:

"Whether the device is corporate or employee owned, the end user is often using it for both work and personal activities.
Because of that, companies need a holistic approach to managing and securing the physical devices as well as the applications
that are downloaded onto them," said Adam Stein, a senior director of mobile product marketing at SAP."

Again, this is not a problem with commercial Windows Mobile handhelds, so the whole security issue is moot with them.

A story about the rise in Android malware:

An article on Android security, from a corporate IT security manager:

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Article ID: 194
Category: General
Date added: 2013-07-10 11:49:09
Views: 303
Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.1/5.0 (47)

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