How To Choose Your Next Operating System: Windows Embedded vs. Android

October 8, 2015

Today’s mobile operating system landscape presents choices for industrial enterprises when it comes to selecting the platform upon which their applications should be run. While General Data installs and supports both platforms, we think it’s valuable to provide you, our customer, with the facts so that you can choose the right software for your business. And even though most are familiar with the Windows Embedded environment, the recent rise of Android has folks questioning – “What’s the difference, and which should I choose?”

Windows Embedded

Windows Mobile is the tried and true platform that a large majority of companies have deployed and used for their enterprise mobile data capture and management systems. Its functionality and interface are comfortable due to its familiarity. Customers that have custom applications on legacy Windows devices can generally upgrade without any issues. In addition, Windows Embedded has a large number of well-tested applications available to its customers.  However, it should be noted that Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows Embedded in 2020.


Android is the ‘new kid on the block’, only recently become a player in the enterprise mobile OS world. While it may be new to the enterprise environment, the Android operating system is widely used on many consumer mobile devices, making it a recognizable and easy-to-use interface. Due to this, the ability for users to move from their legacy operating systems to Android can be fairly seamless. Another factor to consider when looking at Android is that all Android-based apps are functional on Android devices, not just those written specifically for industrial/ruggedized equipment. And even though this OS is fairly new, there has been a huge focus on creating Android apps for the enterprise, so many Windows Embedded software conversion options are available.

How to Choose A Mobile Operating System:

Windows Embedded

  • You want to stick with what’s familiar to you and your employees.
  • You have a custom application that will only run in WE.
  • You’re considering moving to Android but aren’t ready to take that leap yet – some manufacturers will give the option to upgrade down the line.

Note: Support for Windows Embedded will be ending in 2020 with no real upgrades planned.


  • You are concerned about ending support for Windows Embedded and are looking for a more modern platform that will continue to be supported and updated.
  • Your users are familiar and comfortable with the Android interface, and want to utilize the productivity-enhancing features that come with Android.
  • You like that there are a large number of apps available for Android, and many new enterprise mobile applications are being written for the Android platform.

Even if you have a custom application that has only worked on Windows Embedded previously, there are options available to convert most Windows Embedded applications to Android.

We understand that there will still be questions and concerns about how to make this decision for your business. Our team at General Data is here to provide you with knowledgeable, expert advice to help you make the right decision for your business. As we are premier partners with the industry's top technology providers, our experts can help you specify the mobile devices and corresponding OS that fits your specific needs, application and budget.

Interested in learning more about how to choose the right mobile operating system?

Or chat with us using the box below.


Business Unit: