Preparing for Microsoft Windows CE End of Life: How to Keep your Custom Apps

As support for the Windows CE platform ends, many organizations that have long relied on handheld devices to manage and track their operations face with a major challenge. This process began with Windows Embedded CE 6.0 reaching end of life in April 2018, with support for newer Windows CE releases ending each year through 2021.

Today, countless companies across major industries – logistics, transportation, retail, manufacturing and more – rely on custom software developed many years ago for these aging platforms. If this sounds like you, you have a choice:

  • Continue using devices and software that are outdated, unreplaceable and have limited available security updates, or
  • Migrate to new hardware and software that will suit your needs moving forward

The first option is unsustainable in the long term – even the highest quality hardware will eventually need to be replaced. And the second choice can be massively disruptive for complex organizations, forcing them to reinvest in systems that manage large amounts of data and retrain entire workforces on a new platform.

Simplify the Transition from Windows CE to Android

However, there is a third option that allows companies to take advantage of newer hardware with advanced capabilities, while still using the applications they’re used to, protecting investments in processes and employee training. By modernizing software to run on current platforms like Android or Windows 10, legacy applications can be rewritten to run natively on modern devices. That means a familiar interface for your users, compatibility with existing systems and continued software support on devices that are faster, more capable and built for the way you work.

Organizations that currently rely on devices and systems like Windows CE that are nearing end of life should consider how to balance adopting the latest technology, keeping critical applications in place and disrupting the business as little as possible. These transitions can be painful as organizations strive to continue delivering results while undergoing digital transformation.

But, it doesn’t have to be.

Companies need to find the right partner and platform to support their modernization effort. At Panasonic, our in-house team offers complete support for this entire process. Using our platform, we take your custom-built software for legacy systems like Windows CE or Windows Mobile, and rapidly develop a platform-agnostic version that can run across multiple versions of operating systems like Android or Windows 10. This means you now have options:

  • Continue to use your existing hardware (protecting your current investments – if it ain’t broke…)
  • Choose to deploy a variety of new devices across your workforce with the confidence your app is compatible with a range of devices and operating systems

Planning, Rapid Application Development and Deployment

When a company decides to modernize with Rapid Application Development, what does it look like? Our team doesn’t simply recreate the software, we want to make sure that we’re delivering solutions that will allow your business to thrive and grow.

1.      Discovery and Planning

We work with customers to understand what devices and software they’re currently using, what they plan to use in the future and how they’ve integrated mobile technology into their workflow. This is where we take the time to understand your requirements and sit with your users to find out what works and what could use improvement.

2.      Rapid Development

We then rapidly create a version of the software their workers are used to and comfortable with, with the added option of updating your UX to meet today’s standards and take advantage of today’s highly capable devices. This means a result that’s familiar – but better. Plus, developing your application on our platform means it’s built once, but can be deployed to multiple devices and operating systems. So, if you want to make a change to your hardware or OS down the road, you can take your app with you.

3.      Deployment

To get you up and running, we integrate your application with any backend systems, configure setup on your devices and deploy any necessary firmware. Our experts are with you every step of the way to ensure a successful rollout to your workforce from setup and staging to user adoption.

4.      Management and Services

But our job doesn’t end there. We can continue to work with you post-deployment to perform firmware updates, platform updates, integrate new features and make any desired enhancements.

Smart companies know that investing in new technology means moving your business forward, without sacrificing the things that already work. Even as legacy platforms are phased out, businesses know best what works and what doesn’t for their employees, and continuing to use software that gets the job done is important. At Panasonic, we’re committed to making sure that your entire technology ecosystem – hardware, software and the services that support them – makes sense for your specific needs and plans. With our Rapid Application Development offering, we’re able to ensure you keep the things that work while opening up new possibilities for using technology to be more efficient, more competitive and more profitable.

For more information on how Panasonic is helping support technology transitions with its solution, please send an email to toughbook[at]