Coffeehouse Thread

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Win8 tablet that can be ruggedized?

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  • User profile image
    qwert231

    The place I'm currently consulting at wants to move certain employees that are out in the field from laptops to tablets. There is one custom in-house app we wrote in .Net that is pretty much the only thing these employees need.

    The tablets will need to be secure and robust enough to be outside and tossed around a bit.

    They want to go to iPads and port the app over. I'm trying to tell them that it will be more cost-effective to get Win7/8 tablets than to port the .Net app to iOS. We are a MS shop, with only two Macs in the whole operation, and no iOS devices anyway.

    Help... as much as I'd love to play with new devices and technologies, I just see this as good money after bad.

     

     

  • User profile image
    MikeInOhio

    http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/productID.234332100/parentCategoryID.44066900/categoryID.54536100/list.true

     

    The rugged and reliable Motion CL900 slate is designed to handle the toughest workplace conditions while giving you a great combination of portability and powerful features.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , qwert231 wrote

    The tablets will need to be secure and robust enough to be outside and tossed around a bit.

    I can tell you one thing, you wont be able to ruggedize an iPad any more than any other brand. you want your climbing boots to be durable but electronics are prone to failure if you drop or misuse the hardware so it may be worth you getting a support contract from a hardware supplier to replace/repair them when they break.

    I don't see why you just don't get on of these http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_EP121/#specifications

    1. it will run your app with no modifications
    2. if you use Windows 8 you will need to rewrite it in WinRT, what do you gain?
    3. How much will it cost to develop and when will the iOS version ship, while you are talking yourself out of a job promoting a platform you cannot code in (yet)
    4. Android phones have a remote wipe facility that sys admins tend to like, not sure if iOS or WinRT/Metro will have this
    5. WinRT/Metro will ship in October/November time or just before, even though there is a go live license, I would never develop software with a beta product (ever)
    6. iPad is proven, tried and tested, WinRT/Metro has a potential to flop as no-one knows of the gamble will pay off yet

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , vesuvius wrote

    2. if you use Windows 8 you will need to rewrite it in WinRT, what do you gain?

    Converting a project from .NET to .NET/WinRT is easy if you're not using Pinvokes or unsafe code because most of the classes are still there and work the same.

    4. Android phones have a remote wipe facility that sys admins tend to like, not sure if iOS or WinRT/Metro will have this

    WinRT is a programming framework and Metro is a process-style, so I'm not sure what them having a "remote wipe facility" would even mean. But Windows8 has a restore to factory settings that is accessible locally (and which an admin could probably script remotely if they really needed to).

    6.iPad is proven, tried and tested, WinRT/Metro has a potential to flop as no-one knows of the gamble will pay off yet

    iPad is big, but then Microsoft is pretty big too, and they've invested a lot in Metro working on Win8. It's unlikely it will just go and crawl back under a rock.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *snip*

    Converting a project from .NET to .NET/WinRT is easy if you're not using Pinvokes or unsafe code because most of the classes are still there and work the same.

    Silverlight, maybe but there are substantial chunks of .NET that don't appear at all in the WinRT world, especially if you aren't using WPF for UI. Of course if you're using Win7 compatible hardware then it's not really an issue, since you can run the exact same .NET application in Win 8 without any porting whatsoever.

    *snip*

    WinRT is a programming framework and Metro is a process-style, so I'm not sure what them having a "remote wipe facility" would even mean. But Windows8 has a restore to factory settings that is accessible locally (and which an admin could probably script remotely if they really needed to).

    I think the point is wiping/disabling the device if it's lost or stolen. Windows devices will naturally have access to all the management tools used on laptops today, such as DirectAccess and SCCM, so no need for new tools or retraining. Managing a large scale deployment of iPads in a secure way is considerably more difficult.

  • User profile image
    qwert231

    The main app uses SQL Compact and reports. How will/do these port to Win 8 or iOS?

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    @qwert231: You'll have to ask someone at SQL rather than someone at Microsoft about whether third party libraries will continue to work in Win8, but I suspect given the fact that Win8 will see fairly widespread deployment, someone will probably make it .NET/WinRT compatible, but how and when they choose to do so is really up to them.

  • User profile image
    bitdisaster

    We using the CL900 right now. The atom processor isn't very fast but battery life is good. I tried the Win8 developer preview on it but it wasn't usable at all. I don't know how much the performance is improved in the CP but I will try soon. Currently we run a SL app on tis device and I woul like to migrate to WinRT.

  • User profile image
    MikeInOhio

    not sure if it is your play budget, but the Microsoft store has the CL900 for $599 at the moment (marked down from $1099) http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/pd/Motion-Computing-CL900-Slate/productID.234332100/vip.true

    I have a Dell XT that ran the Win 8 dev preview miserably but did improve with the CP

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    heh
    microsoftstore.com chat:
    q: What tablet you have now will run Windows 8 best?

    a: "We don't have information about Windows 8".

    pooh at least tries to think think think

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    Yeah, if you want a real rugged tablet then you'd probably go with the Motion Computing J3500. Add to that their bump case and you're stylin'.

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  • User profile image
    qwert231

    So, here's what it comes down to. The Windows tablet approach will have lower development costs, but there is a company willing to do a pilot by loaning us 3 free android tablets. Free is nice.

    For Windows Tablets, here's what we would want, secure (of course), locked down to only supported apps, and remotely wipable. Other than that, rugeddeized which almost any tablet can be, wireless, which any tablet can be, and larger screen, which windows tablets seem to have.

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    @quert231 I THINK that's what Microsoft System Center is for. Supported apps, remote wipes, etc. Not 100% but I think we'll be doing the same thing for a project this year and I recall that.

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