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Windows – A Must Have or a Manufacturer’s Ploy to Make End Users Upgrade Unnecessarily?

December 5th, 2005

It seems that the constant push from the manufacturers in the home PC and gaming market to persuade us to buy the latest hardware, software or gaming console has now started to impact on the AIDC industry. Hardly a week goes by without another DOS-based product discontinuation announcement being sent out to end users and resellers alike, fuelling the fear that DOS is about to become a thing of the past.

Look up DOS-based products on any of the major AIDC manufacturer’s websites and you’ll find a long list of products that have been end-of-life’d and will no longer be supplied or supported. Of those that offer an upgrade the upgrade will be for a Windows-based unit, offering far more functionality than its DOS-based predecessor and undoubtedly more than is actually wanted or needed. This situation has curious similarities with the mobile phone industry where it is claimed that the majority of users only use a fraction of the features on their phones as they don’t have the need, or the inclination, to find out what else is on the unit.

Some of this could be driven by the ever increasing competition in the AIDC market to constantly bring out more and more “first to market” products, often regardless of whether there is a reasonable market to sell them into.

So is this really the end for DOS terminals or is there another option? We have found that for many of our customers there is no benefit to upgrading to Windows at this moment in time but the fear instilled into them from the manufacturers is causing them to purchase new hardware unnecessarily.

At Ryzex we are doing all we can to explode the myth that DOS is dead. DOS still has a very valid role to play with companies that don’t want to confuse their employees by moving them across to a Windows-based environment or who don’t need the majority of the extra functionality that Windows brings, such as web browsing or Microsoft applications such as Excel or Word. For many, the move to Windows then requires additional development to create screens that “hide” the majority of the functionality thereby preventing the user from surfing the net or playing Solitaire when they’re actually supposed to be doing a stock take in the warehouse or on the shop floor.

Ryzex has been sourcing new and second user hardware for its customers for over 15 years. When a manufacturer puts out an end-of-life notice on a product Ryzex steps in. Ryzex is able to extend the life of the customer’s hardware until such a time as they want or need to move up to the next level of product, so that the upgrade can be done at a time that suits the customer’s IT strategy and it’s budget and not when the manufacturer dictates. Ryzex’s FullUse® life cycle support strategy is designed to help its customers to obtain full use of their barcode data collection equipment from the cradle to the grave and not just until the next technology fashion change.

So is Ryzex against new hardware? Absolutely not! At Ryzex we know there are times when new hardware is the best option for a customer and we will happily supply new hardware from leading manufacturers such as Intermec and Zebra – but only where this is deemed the most appropriate option for the customer and the customer has made this choice.

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