5 Outcomes to Consider Around Upgrading your EOL Microsoft Device

by Jennifer Clark on May 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in Mobility,POS,ScanSource POS & Barcode

Some things were built to last. The Great Wall of China. The Pyramids. A Kitchen Aid mixer. But like the Berlin Wall, some structures — whether real or abstract — that were designed to keep people in, or out, come crashing down. Legacy Microsoft Windows mobile operating systems (CE 6.0, Handheld 6.5, and Compact 7) will soon join the ranks of those forgotten, ancient ruins, as Microsoft has no plans of continuing to support several legacy operating systems after their announced product lifecycle ends.

So, what does this mean for resellers? Will your customers’ products completely quit working, similar to the Y2K scare? Not quite, but they do pose a large threat to the security of the company. Just like with any technology, upgrades and replacements to the latest and greatest operating systems are better performed before completely reaching its EOL and leaves a system open to hackers.

What else can occur? Below are five outcomes your customers could be facing if they don’t upgrade their mobile operating system in the near future.

Breach. End users may balk at the idea of replacing one, or hundreds, of products that work perfectly fine today, but the software programs that power those devices are now vulnerable to security threats. As these operating systems are no longer supported, hackers are waiting in the wings to wreak havoc on systems and programs, as evidenced by the recent global cyber-attack of many businesses—including many hospitals—and the subsequent ransom demanded by the hackers.

Outdated Software. Just like when your friend’s phone has 10 more emoji offerings because they upgraded to the newest OS, EOL also means the functionality of a device will not reflect the current offering and capability other competitors might be using. The software program may no longer be compatible with the device and will only use legacy applications. Over time, as your customers want access to new features and solutions, they will have to settle for older solutions, much to their chagrin.

Performance Issues. Over time, devices running older Windows mobile operating systems will move further away from peak performance because they are unable to support newer software, utilize new applications and facilitate a more user-friendly experience for the workforce using the device.

It’s Expensive. Perhaps your customers didn’t want to spend the money to upgrade their operating system and devices, but they encounter a security breach or bug. To fix this, they could realistically spend more to circumvent the damage done, retrieve any data lost, as well as add in the cost of lost business than they would to replace the device itself.

Loss of Business. Some verticals, like healthcare, regularly deal with sensitive customer information. When operating systems are no longer upgradable and vulnerable to security threats, they risk compliance and privacy law issues that could result in fines, or worse. Or, mobile devices running older operating systems may no longer communicate with a server running a newer operating system resulting in business downtime.

The OS change can also, however, position you to be the hero. It provides you with an opportunity to help your customers upgrade and transition before they have a catastrophe on their hands. You can help them with this migration and guide them through the operating system transition, their hardware upgrade, and assist in redeveloping their business-critical software, all while ultimately growing your business.

ScanSource created our MobilETC program (Enable, Train, and Connect) to help you navigate this transition and provide an inside look at your business. Here is a complete list of expected EOL dates for various Microsoft mobile operating systems. To start your conversation around OS migration and what it means for your business, contact ScanSource at OSmigration@scansource.com.


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