Industry Insight

Four Changes Warehouses
Can't Avoid

Make this a pivotal moment by modernizing
your mobile devices

E-commerce Boom

E-commerce Boom

$4.5 trillion

online global retail sales
by 2021

Time Crunch

Time Crunch


of logistics firms expect to
offer same-day deliveries

Labor Pinch

Labor Pinch


rate of
worker turnover


Microsoft Microsoft's End
of Support

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 by 2020

Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 by 2021

Sources: Zebra Warehousing 2020 Global Study, Zebra 2016; The Future of Fulfillment Vision Study, Zebra 2018; Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

More item-level picking and returns. A dizzying amount of complexity. 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, don't 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—the pathway to faster, leaner operations.


You have migration questions.
We have answers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes – It depends on the application. Ivanti® and StayLinked’s terminal emulation apps can run on our 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?

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.

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.

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.