|By Kevin Benedict
|October 31, 2012 08:00 AM EDT
Things often move in slow motion in large companies.
It takes months and sometimes years to get
your IT project on a priority list that gets funded.
You must seek and receive approvals from
dozens of executives and managers who are often playing musical chairs on the
But with months or
years of persistence, you may finally gain all necessary approvals and a real
Now you must deliver on your
projected ROIs over the next 36 months.
That is often how big enterprise mobility projects work in
the world of rugged and industrial grade mobile and handheld computers. This is a world foreign to many people
familiar only with the consumer mobility space where new mobile apps are
released daily, handsets and smartphones are released weekly and new versions
of mobile operating systems are released quarterly.
In this industrial world of concrete and rivets, dust and
rain $2,000 rugged handhelds must last 4-6 years, not months. That means tens of thousands of companies and
millions of industrial users are still using ruggedized handheld computers and
mobile devices that may be 6 years old.
These are generally running on Windows Mobile operating systems. These ruggedized mobile devices are ancient
compared to the iPhone in their pocket and iPad on their desk.
These ancient mobile devices still function, but have been
until now limited to only running old versions of software that are still
capable of running on old versions of Windows Mobile. That means entire industries are missing the
mobility revolution and all the powerful news mobile applications and
innovations that have been delivered over the last few years. This is not a good position to be in. These users have hit reached a dead end with
their mobile technology and have missed the entire wave of mobile web based
innovations, that is until now.
Earlier this month Intermec announced,
a new HTML5 browser that runs on old Windows Mobile devices.
This is HUGE news!
If you can now use new HTML5 based mobile
applications on ruggedized mobile dinosaurs, then you have jumped one of the
biggest hurdles that exist in the industrial mobility industry.
Here is an excerpt from Intermec’s
announcement, “Intermec’s HTML5 offering includes a true web browser
application, based on WebKitTM, for multiple models of Intermec’s handheld
computers for Windows® Mobile and Windows Embedded operating systems.”
Here is another excerpt from Intermec’s press release, note
the references to the words – modern, latest, extends and future proofing,
““Intermec’s new HTML5-capable browser offers enterprises the flexibility to
equip their mobile workers with a modern user interface and latest business
logic, along with the right device for their specific working conditions and
usage demands,” said Earl Thompson, Intermec Senior Vice President, Mobile
Solutions Business Unit. “Offering much more than the next iteration of web
language, Intermec’s HTML5 offering extends the Web paradigm to a whole new
class of future-proofed applications by allowing for them to be developed and
This news means that there is now hope for millions of Intermec
users which Microsoft had left behind several years ago, dead-ended on old
Windows Mobile operating systems. Today,
they have the potential of leap frogging ahead and using innovative HTML5 based
mobile apps on their same old ruggedized devices.
The term I am using, old ruggedized mobile devices, does not
mean they don’t have real and important value.
They may be perfect for the tasks they do.
However, today, with this announcement, their
ROI and value may have just jumped considerably.
I am excited to hear what ClickSoftware’s Gil
Bouhnick’s says when he reviews Intermec’s browser and HTML5 capabilities.
Head Analyst for SMAC,
The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.