Changing Warehouse Operating System? Key Considerations.

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Since launching in the mid-eighties and early noughties, Android and Microsoft Windows operating systems (OS) have helped to revolutionise operations across countless industries worldwide, including warehousing.

However, Microsoft took the decision to end all platforms of support for Windows CE, and in June 2018, officially ended Windows CE on mobile devices. During this period, the popularity and compatibility of Android rugged devices was undisputed, with the move from Windows CE to Android delivering a host of benefits to users which has only continued to soar.

But what do these developments mean for warehouse operators looking to invest or upgrade existing OS? If you are a warehouse operator and are considering an OS rollout or upgrade, we have mapped out the key considerations to help inform your choice.


Arguably the most crucial software that runs on a computer, an OS is made of several applications and manages a computer’s memory, processes, software and hardware.

Without a central OS, a computer is rendered useless, making its importance unquestionable.


The battle for OS dominance between Windows and Android is not new news, with the giants regularly pipping each other to the top spot for worldwide OS market share.


When it comes to choosing Android for warehouse operations, the platform boasts countless benefits to deliver full and reliable warehouse support, such as:

Highly customisable for bespoke warehouse solutionsFlexibilityFamiliar user experienceMinimal training required  Continual updates/application developmentIntuitive platformAdaptabilityFreedom (see below) 

At TouchStar, we are seeing more applications for warehouse-specific operations being released for rugged Android devices, with support focused on those deployments.

The flexibility delivered by Android enables manufacturers to optimise platforms specifically for the warehouse industry, and offer features such as:

Extending/optimising battery lifeHigh-speed scanningAutomating device back lightingExtending Wi-Fi coverageMaximising shift timesImproving roamingUsing specialised connectivity software for back-office systems

It also enables certain features and other devices to be integrated successfully to help meet sector-specific requirements, such as specialist keyboards and barcode scanner.

The vast capability of Android, together with its seamless integration and regular releases of apps for warehouse-specific operations, emphasises Android’s position as a reliable and world-leading OS warehouse solution.


Android is known as an open-source operating system which isn’t impacted by any limitations imposed by their Microsoft Windows CE counterparts. However, some see moving to Android as a barrier due to the cost of redeveloping their core software systems, such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).

Despite this, Android’s unquestionable flexibility allows the freedom for manufacturers to unlock all options from the full Android OS experience, allowing them to build and deliver customised solutions that are specific to the warehousing sector.

Thanks to individual’s familiarity with Android devices and their interface, is it is highly likely that staff will be familiar with the Android OS and its working. This makes for an easier transition, increased efficiency and boosted team morale.

Peter Marsh

Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001. Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries. In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and…

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