Our monster Mission Critical Mobile Solutions series continues today by looking at the various Operating systems that are Line of businesses suitable and those which are not.

Now I’m not going to argue that this subject is a hotly debated one and the old Unix/Linux Vs Microsoft and PHP Vs .NET arguments seem to relive themselves when talking about mobile OS’s but I am going to stick to some facts you need to know about them.

When is a Mobile OS not Line of business?

Well it’s about change and how that’s handled, it’s about backward compatibility of later OS’s, it’s about the apps that are developed for these OS’s and its about support of the OS and Apps.  Essentially you need all 4 elements to be a proper mission critical OS.

Lest take the big 4 OS’s out there and see how they fare:

Apple IOS

IOS is tidy, its mobile, its capable and it’s simply really cool and easy to use.  Like all Apple products it works and it’s a pleasure to use and program for.  However half the apps built for earlier versions of IOS running on iPhone 3’s which are little more than a year old now will not run on the newer OS’s so this is always a risk, Apple have a very short support period for older OS’s and one OS can be very different from older ones with no guarantee of compatibility.

IOS is kind of like the Techie who can do anything with code but it always seems to break when the crunch comes!

Google Android

It’s the same story here, in fact it is worse in a way as vendors are free to manipulate and change the OS so you’re never certain if 2 devices are going to be the same.  Sure you can keep the kernal’s the same but the fact is they never are and you have to be careful.  The older OS’s have a short official support time, they are also not technically supported by Google leaving and again we see new versions coming out all the time making big changes to the OS and what can run on it.

The young pretender, with aspirations of becoming Mission Critical, but can it ever be built on top of a free LINUX based model?  Its like the hippy becoming CEO! (what a wonderful world that might actually be though!!)


This is no different to the 2 OS’s above, however with Blackberry you also have the issue of programmer availability due to the more proprietary nature of the OS there are fewer people that can tinker with it.  I think Blackberry is best left to email and phone calls :-0!

The oddball in the corner who does her job really well, but is best never asked to explain…

Windows Phone 7

WP7 might as well just be a different OS as far as this is concerned, its nothing like Windows Mobile and was never meant to be.  The fact of the matter is it’s a great OS but it changes like the wind to keep up with the never-ending innovation packed into smartphones.  Exciting and cool it is, stable for a line of business solution it aint!

Porsche driving, successful Manager who networks well and always manages to get someone else to do the actual work!!

Windows Mobile or Windows Embedded Handheld

You can now see where WM or WEH as its called now really scores.  Sure it’s boring, it lacks functionality and it certainly doesn’t do flashy but what it does do well is stability, security and it’s actually quite light to run too.  .NET at its core it has the largest band of programmers who can quickly develop for it and the lack of changes made means that it is most backward compatible.  Oh yes and Microsoft support WM for years and years, direct from the horse’s mouth.

The accountant, maybe a  bit boring!, shirt and tie worn at all times but the VAT man never comes knocking because its dealt with……always

I think with OS’s you have to scratch the surface.  Cool up to date OS’s are not the best for a mission critical application that is required to run unchanged for years.  Don’t get lured in by the flashy bits and the fact they run on cheap smartphones, they will leave you for someone else the minute your backs turned!!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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