It has been an unbelievable time coming, we still have a crazy amount of gaps in our understanding but WE8 is here, we did a very quick first look on the OS yesterday before the device we had going straight out to a customer so this blog hopes to set a few questions straight about the new OS from Microsoft.

Windows Mobile or Windows Phone?
First off lets get WE8’s lineage straight! WE8 is the next in the “data capture” operating systems.  It takes over the Windows mobile line of OS that most rugged kit still runs today so WE8 takes over from Windows embedded handheld 6.5 which is currently the live OS in that line.  We talk about this a lot more right here

There are 3 versions of WE8.1:

Industry – is a full windows platform but designed for industrial applications.  You’ll see this on things like POS devices or industrial computers that require more security and consistency .

Pro – Designed for “Edge” devices, we take that as for industrial mobile devices or rugged hardware.

Standard – is meant for more embedded system devices like thin clients, kiosks or automated manufacturing solutions.

Compatibility with Windows Phone and Windows

We’re currently testing this but first impressions are that we have been able to install and run basic apps designed for WP8.1 and they ran on a WE8.1 device so what WE8 is going to do is bring some kind of compatibility to both of the Microsoft OS’s that you’ll find on mobile type devices.  However they are both separate operating systems and come with a lot of differences but if you keep your apps simple and don’t go delving too deep into the devices capabilities then there’s definitely some crossover there.  What this means is that there might be some full platform capability at last from Microsoft, that we only currently have with the Android OS.

What devices have WE8

There’s only 1 right now, don’t let anyone else fool you.  Our friends at Bluebird Pidion are the lead partner for WE8, Motorola and Honeywell have not been chosen for this due to a range of reasons and there is 1 device currently available in the Pidion BM180.  We’ve been tinkering with this devices for a while now in both WE8 and Android format and it’s going to be a heck of a device.

I’d expect other models soon but right now we haven’t got any notice of any other devices just yet.

How do I get one?

Well come talk to us firstly as we have access to the first models here at RAM.  If you want to come and see one, play or buy one then get in touch.  We’ll be doing an in the hand on the BM180 soon so please read that for more information on specific models and release dates.


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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