A choice of new mobile computing hardware can often have a significant impact on existing software applications and business processes. Perhaps the disruption of a complete overhaul of software and hardware, along with the associated business processes, is more change than a business can bear. Having the prerogative to phase in change on the timetable of your business versus the “rip and replace” timetable of technology is difficult to achieve. Look for new computers that support terminal emulation so that you can fully leverage your existing legacy software applications and migrate them to the new platform according to your own timetable. Some computers feature powerful mobile Windows operating systems and also support terminal emulation, which provides backwards and forwards compatibility with legacy applications and future mobile computing advances. The PocketPC and Windows CE.
NET operating systems give users access to an unparalleled developer community, a familiar programming environment for supporting and developing their own applications, a migration path to deploy mobile versions of enterprise systems, and the ability to remotely access Web services, whose role and importance in enterprise IT architectures is predicted to grow significantly. Mobile Linux and Java computers may lack the drivers necessary to use bar code readers, mobile printers and other peripherals with the device.
Larger screen sizes, with optional color, found on newer mobile computers improve productivity by minimizing time consuming scrolling and reducing user training time.
Because the standards for both wireless data throughput and security protocols are continually evolving, users should select devices that can be conveniently enhanced and upgraded with the latest technology, and won’t become obsolete when networks with faster data rates or different security options become available. For example, 802.11b is the dominant wireless network standard in use today. It uses the 2.4GHz frequency band and provides data communications speed up to 11 megabits per second (Mbps). A more recent standard, 802.11g, is backward-compatible with 802.11b equipment but offers 54Mbps throughput. By selecting mobile computers that support 802.11g, users could leverage investments in their 802.11b access points and prepare themselves for five times faster throughput when the AP infrastructure is eventually replaced.