The 5 Steps to Transition from Windows CE

The 5 Steps to Transition from Windows CE

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Windows CE, once a popular operating system for mobile devices, was discontinued by Microsoft years ago. This has left many businesses in a difficult position, especially those relying on legacy software and hardware designed for Windows CE. As an unsupported system, Windows CE poses growing risks that businesses can no longer afford to ignore.

In this article, we’ll cover the key reasons to move on from Windows CE and how making the transition to a modern Windows handheld can benefit your business.

The Risks of Using Unsupported Software

Without ongoing support and updates from Microsoft, Windows CE becomes more vulnerable over time. Running unsupported software exposes businesses to heightened security risks, technical issues, and compatibility problems:

  • Security vulnerabilities: Lack of security patches leaves Windows CE open to new exploits. Hackers can take advantage of unfixed flaws to breach systems.
  • Technical problems: No active development means bugs and performance issues go unaddressed. This leads to frozen capabilities and declining reliability.
  • Compatibility issues: Newer hardware, software, and peripherals may not work properly with outdated Windows CE. Integration and interoperability suffers.

Relying on Windows CE also prevents taking advantage of newer innovations and capabilities only available in modern operating systems. As technology progresses, this can put companies at a competitive disadvantage.

For industries like healthcare that rely heavily on Windows CE for critical systems and devices, the end of support creates serious challenges. Maintaining unsupported software risks the performance and safety of vital medical equipment.

Risk Impact
Security vulnerabilities Data breaches, malware infections, ransomware, etc.
Technical problems Frozen capabilities, declining reliability, downtime
Compatibility issues Limited integration, poor interoperability, lack of support
Lack of new capabilities Fall behind competition, can’t leverage new innovations

The Problem with Continuing to Use Windows CE

Windows CE was once a popular operating system for mobile devices. However, it is no longer supported by Microsoft, which has created challenges for businesses that rely on legacy software and hardware designed to support the WinCE system. Continuing to use unsupported software can lead to security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. The end of life for Windows CE has become a serious worry for different industries, such as healthcare services, where medical devices rely on Windows CE.

In addition, the lack of support for Windows CE means that businesses are unable to take advantage of new features and technologies that are available in modern operating systems. This can put them at a disadvantage compared to their competitors who have already made the transition to newer systems.

To address these challenges, businesses need to transition from Windows CE devices to more powerful alternatives such as the Conker NS6.

The Solution: Transition to a Powerful Windows 6-inch Handheld

The Conker NS6 is a rugged 6-inch handheld device that runs on Windows Pro. It provides a stable, reliable, and easy-to-use alternative to Windows CE. The device is built to withstand demanding environments and is equipped with the latest Windows OS. It’s like having a full laptop right in a compact, 380 grams device.

The Conker NS6 is designed with ingress protection (IP) ratings that protect it from dust and water damage. It also has a ruggedized exterior that can withstand drops and other impacts. This makes it an ideal device for businesses that operate in harsh environments such as construction sites or warehouses.

The device also comes with features such as barcode scanning and tablet windows that make it easy to use in different settings. The Conker NS6 is a versatile device that can be used in various industries such as healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing.

Industry Impact

The risks of relying on Windows CE weigh especially heavily on certain industries.


Many medical devices like imaging systems, monitoring equipment, and carts were designed for Windows CE. Without support, these devices become increasingly problematic:

  • Patient safety is jeopardised by ageing, unreliable technology
  • Compliance with regulations like HIPAA becomes more difficult
  • Costly service and replacement is required as components fail

Warehousing & Logistics

Windows CE was commonly used in handheld barcode scanners, ring scanners, mobile computers, and other devices for supply chain operations. Lack of support causes issues:

  • Productivity is lost to failing hardware and bugs
  • Accuracy declines as scanning and tracking degrades
  • Investments must be made to upgrade devices and systems

Field Services

Windows CE devices were deployed in the field for many repair, inspection, and other services. Running unsupported OS risks:

  • Inability to access customer data, asset history, manuals, etc.
  • Unreliable performance of diagnostics, imaging, testing tools
  • Reduced efficiency and delays due to technical problems

Transitioning to a Modern Windows Handheld

To avoid the pitfalls of unsupported Windows CE, businesses should upgrade to a modern Windows handheld. One excellent option is the Conker NS6, a rugged 6-inch device running the latest Windows OS.

This handheld combines the familiarity of Windows with robust new features in a compact yet powerful device. The hardened exterior withstands harsh conditions, while convenient tools like barcode scanning simplify workflows.

With the Conker NS6, companies can:

  • Leverage the most current Windows platform and security protections
  • Customise the device for their specific needs
  • Utilise advanced capabilities like geo-location and imaging
  • Integrate with legacy systems while upgrading overall infrastructure

Key Features

  • Windows Pro OS: Latest Windows platform with ongoing updates and support
  • Rugged exterior: Withstands dust, shocks, vibrations, extremes of temperature
  • Barcode scanning: 1D/2D scanning improves inventory management, logistics, etc.
  • Tablet capabilities: Touchscreen with stylus for signature capture, sketches, notes
  • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, e-compass
  • Wireless connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE cellular data, GPS
  • Accessories: Docking stations, carrying cases, mounts, straps available
Feature Benefit
Windows Pro OS Robust security protections, new innovations from Microsoft
Rugged exterior Use in harsh environments like warehouses, construction sites
Barcode scanning Efficient inventory management, supply chain operations
Tablet capabilities Intuitive interaction for field work, patient records, etc.
Sensors Context-aware computing based on movement, location, environment
Wireless connectivity Uninterrupted access to networks, data, location services
Accessories Flexible customization for diverse use cases

How to Make the Transition

To make the transition from Windows CE devices to a Windows 6-inch handheld like the Conker NS6, businesses need to understand the time, budget, and business impacts of their transition. Here are some steps they can follow:

  1. Identify your current hardware and software needs.
  2. Research available options for transitioning to a new device.
  3. Evaluate the costs and benefits of each option.
  4. Develop a plan for transitioning your business operations.
  5. Train your employees on how to use the new device.

It’s important to note that transitioning from Windows CE devices to a more powerful Windows 6-inch handheld like the Conker NS6 requires an investment of time and resources. However, this investment can pay off in the long run by providing businesses with a more reliable and efficient system.

Choosing the Right Device

When selecting a modern Windows handheld, keep these key criteria in mind:

  • Supported OS: Runs latest Windows Pro platform with ongoing patches/updates
  • Processing power: Has capable processor and sufficient RAM for required apps
  • Connectivity: Provides WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, GPS based on needs
  • Durability: Meets drop test standards and IP rating for environment
  • Input methods: Supports touch, stylus, scanner, keyboard etc. as needed
  • Size and weight: Compact and lightweight design for portability and comfort
  • Battery life: Lasts through full shift without frequent charging
  • Service plans: Offers technical support, overnight device replacement, more
  • Accessories: Provides accessories like charging cradles, straps, cases
  • Budget: Overall TCO meets budget requirements

Making the Switch

Upgrading from Windows CE can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be with the right partner. Conker offers a free project scoping call to assess your needs and create a tailored migration plan.

They also provide free trials of the Conker NS6 to select companies to allow your team to test the new devices before fully committing. The trials help smooth the transition by allowing hands-on experience and surfacing any questions ahead of time.

During the trial you get access to:

  • Conker NS6 devices for team members
  • Technical support and tutorials
  • Barcode scanners and other accessories
  • Custom configuration of apps and settings
  • Transition planning assistance
  • User feedback sessions

This allows you to experience the benefits first-hand before rolling out new devices company-wide. Trials enable catching potential issues early and refining training and support plans.

Take advantage of Conker’s free scoping call and trial program to streamline your transition from Windows CE. Their team handles everything, from initial assessment to full-scale deployment, making upgrades easy.

Contact Conker today via Contact Us Page to get started on modernising your mobile devices and unlocking new efficiencies.

Benefits of the Windows 6-inch Handheld

Using a Windows 6-inch handheld device like the Conker NS6 has several benefits. For instance, it provides a more powerful and reliable alternative to Windows CE devices. The device is built to withstand harsh environments and can be used in various industries such as healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing.

The Conker NS6 is equipped with the latest Windows OS, which means that businesses can take advantage of new features and technologies that are available in modern operating systems. This can help them stay ahead of their competitors who have already made the transition to newer systems.

In addition, the Conker NS6 is designed with ingress protection rating if IP65, that protects it from dust and water damage. It also has a ruggedized exterior that can withstand drops and other impacts. This makes it an ideal device for businesses that operate in harsh environments such as construction sites or warehouses.

The device also comes with features such as barcode scanning and tablet windows that make it easy to use in different settings. The Conker NS6 is a versatile device that can be used for various applications such as inventory management, asset tracking, and field service.

Transition Planning

Migrating from Windows CE to a modern Windows handheld requires thoughtful planning and execution. Here are best practices to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Audit inventory: Document all existing Windows CE devices and usage scenarios.
  • Assess risks: Identify high priority vulnerabilities and requirements.
  • Select solution: Choose device(s) that align to needs and mitigate risks.
  • Develop policies: Define security, data, device management, and other policies.
  • Test and validate: Pilot devices to confirm desired performance.
  • Train workforce: Educate employees on new devices and updated policies.
  • Manage change: Get input from users and communicate timelines and changes.
  • Deploy strategically: Roll out new devices in phases by location or department.
  • Provide support: Have on-site help during transition to assist users.
  • Refine and optimise: Solicit feedback from users post-deployment and refine policies, training, or other aspects.

Financial Considerations

Transitioning from Windows CE incurs both direct costs for new devices and services as well as indirect costs for managing change.

Direct Costs

  • New handheld devices
  • Charging stations/cradles
  • Protective cases and straps
  • Barcode scanners
  • Technical support and service plans
  • Software licences if needed

Indirect Costs

  • Employee training time
  • Lost productivity during transition
  • Change management activities
  • Troubleshooting and additional IT support

Consider total cost of ownership (TCO) over the lifespan of new solutions rather than just upfront costs. The investment pays dividends by boosting capabilities, productivity, accuracy, and other benefits.

The Bottom Line

Relying on unsupported legacy systems is risky and limiting. Migrating to powerful, rugged Windows handhelds like the Conker NS6 solves these issues:

  • Mitigate risks: Avoid security threats, technical problems, compatibility issues
  • Reduce costs: Decrease maintenance and replacement of failing devices
  • Improve capabilities: Leverage newest OS, scanning, connectivity, accessories
  • Boost productivity: Enhance workflows with reliable, integrated solutions
  • Enhance worker experience: Provide intuitive, purpose-built tools for the job
  • Increase accuracy: Reduce errors through scanning, location tracking, sensors
  • Future-proof: Continued Windows support provides long-term viability

Say goodbye to Windows CE. With smart planning and the right partner, you can deploy improved solutions that push your business forward, not hold it back.

To learn more about transitioning from Windows CE and selecting an optimal Windows handheld, contact the team at Conker here. Their experts make migrations seamless and identify the perfect fit for your needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t we just keep using Windows CE devices?

Windows CE is no longer supported, so continuing to use it exposes your business to growing security risks, technical problems, and compatibility issues. Lack of ongoing support also prevents accessing new innovations only available in modern OS.

What are the risks of not upgrading from Windows CE?

The main risks are security vulnerabilities without ongoing patches, declining performance/reliability leading to downtime, inability to integrate with newer systems and peripherals, and losing competitive advantage from outdated capabilities. Patient safety or regulatory compliance may also be jeopardised.

What benefits does a modern OS like Windows Pro provide?

Windows Pro enables utilising the latest security protections, features, and interfaces from Microsoft. It receives ongoing patches and updates to fix bugs and add new capabilities. It also enables full integration with cloud services, AI, modern software/hardware, and more.

How difficult is it to transition from Windows CE?

The level of difficulty depends on your existing systems and how mission-critical the legacy Windows CE devices are. With proper planning, testing, change management, training, and post-deployment support, transitions can be quite smooth. Having an experienced partner helps.

What resources are required to roll out new Windows handhelds?

The main resources needed are: employee training time, mobile device management software, on-site IT support during transition, change management activities to ease adoption, and testing devices to pilot before full deployment.

How much productivity loss should we expect during the transition?

If the rollout is properly managed, productivity losses can be minimised. Strategies like phased deployments, extensive training, on-site transition support, and soliciting user feedback help maintain productivity. Expect some temporary declines as workers get used to new devices.

What are best practices for a smooth migration?

Conducting audits, assessments, piloting, staging rollouts, developing policies and training, and providing ample support during and after transition are key. Applying change management strategies also smooths adoption. Maintain open communication throughout.

How can we determine the right Windows handheld for our needs?

Consider criteria like supported OS, processing power, connectivity, durability, input methods, size/weight, battery life, accessories, and budget. Prioritise capabilities that are critical for your key use cases and workflows. The Conker NS6 meets most common needs.

What support does Conker provide during and after migration?

Conker offers services like project management, staging rollouts, on-site support, new user training, and post-deployment optimization. Their team helps throughout the lifecycle, from audit to maintenance. Ongoing support like overnight device replacement provides peace of mind.

What are the benefits of transitioning to a modern Windows handheld?

The key benefits are improved security, reliability, performance, new capabilities, easier integration with modern systems, regulatory compliance, cost reduction from replacing failing devices less often, and better experience for users. It future-proofs your business.

What happens if we don’t transition from Windows CE?

The consequences could include data breaches, costly downtime, declining performance, inability to leverage new innovations, non-compliance penalties, user frustration, and replacement costs as old devices stop functioning. You risk falling behind competitors who have upgraded.

Why is the Conker NS6 a good Windows CE replacement?

It runs the latest Windows OS with ongoing support. It’s highly ruggedized for industrial use. It offers barcode scanning, a tablet mode, strong wireless connectivity, accessories, and more. Conker also provides end-to-end services to ensure a smooth transition.

What makes the Conker NS6 different from other options?

It combines the most important capabilities like ruggedness and scanning in a lightweight yet powerful device. Conker is solely dedicated to this handheld, so provides better service and support than generic manufacturers. It’s designed specifically for transitioning from old WinCE gear.

How can the Conker NS6 improve our specific workflows?

It depends on your needs, but the scanning can improve inventory management. The tablet mode works well for field work. Sensors and connectivity help with location services and workflow automation. Conker can customise it further for your exact use cases.

Why is Conker better than trying to continue fixing our old Windows CE gear?

Fixing old devices is temporary and they will keep declining in performance and reliability. Conker provides a long-term, future-proof solution with ongoing support. The NS6 unlocks new capabilities not possible with outdated technology.

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Conal McGuirk

Conal McGuirk

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