We get asked about Semi Rugged PDA’s with WM6.1 a lot here at Rugged and Mobile and people don’t really realise how much Microsoft messed up Windows Mobile 6.5 before they moved development of it into a new team within the business.  Whilst gesture control, new screen sizes and various other nice to haves might have seemed a great idea at the time when it was still being targeted at the Smartphone market, these changes brought a lot of small but often show stopping issues to businesses.

The answer to this question was to find something with WM6.1 still installed on it but the answer might actually be better than this!

There is one Semi Rugged PDA, the Pidion BM170 that comes with 4 Operating Systems:

  1. Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is the normal operating system.  This is the latest version of Windows Mobile and is found on most rugged PDA’s right now.
  2. Windows Mobile 6.5.1 is the Stylus friendly OS, it is more compatible with previous versions of software so give this a try if you;re having issues with your Applications running properly.
  3. There are also a few Windows Mobile 6.1 versions too that give you the proper WM6.1 OS.  These have a slightly reduced spec with 128MB RAM and a QVGA LCD but the backwards compatibility of these make them popular.
  4. Android 2.1 – COming very soon now the BM170 will be the first Semi-rugged PDA with an Android option.

As you can see the BM170 is a very versatile device, most of the above operating systems can be changed or upgraded at a later date and I think this is a really true offering that a rugged…..semi ruged or not, should be doing.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.