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 manufacturers websites and youll find a long list of products that have been end-of-lifed 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 dont 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.
DOS still has a very valid role to play
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.
For many, the move to Windows then requires additional development to create screens that hide the majority of the functionality
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 dont want to confuse their employees by moving them across to a Windows-based environment or who dont 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 theyre actually supposed to be doing a stock take in the warehouse or on the shop floor.
...we know there are times when new hardware is the best option for a customer and we will happily supply new hardware
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 customers 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 customers IT strategy and its budget and not when the manufacturer dictates. Ryzexs FullUse lifecycle 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 Zebrabut only where this is deemed the most appropriate option for the customer and the customer has made this choice.
Tim Ames is managing director of Ryzex Europe. The company supplies new and refurbished bar code scanners and printers. Ryzex is the world's largest buyer and seller of surplus and pre-owned bar code equipment and its inventory consists of a great selection of leading manufacturers, including Symbol, Telxon, Zebra, Intermec, Norand, PSC and many more.