Panasonic working with Microsoft to build new handheld devices for enterprise

Panasonic has today announced at the National Retail Federation 2014 expo that it's currently working with Microsoft to introduce enterprise-class mobile hardware using Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. This collaboration will enable the company to further expand its product portfolio with new handheld devices for businesses, rocking Microsoft's enterprise features.

Windows Embedded 8 Handheld is the latest generation of Microsoft's platform for business mobile devices, based on Windows Phone 8. What this means is customers will be able to utilise enterprise-grade security and manageability, as well as full Windows Phone 8 app compatibility, opening up solutions such as Dynamics AX, Lync and Office.

Panasonic Logo

Garrett Clarke, Senior Product Manager of Windows Embedded Handheld at Microsoft, commented the following on the announcement:

"Our collaboration with Panasonic to deliver Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices is a key element in delivering the power of Windows Phone 8 to enterprises in handheld devices designed for industry specific scenarios. From security and manageability to application compatibility across devices, the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld platform combined with Panasonic’s innovative device portfolio and tools will support end to end integrated solutions for enterprises as they drive their businesses into the future."

Panasonic will look to release hardware for a wide range of retail applications, including mobile POS, supply chain and operations management and customer service. The company also showed off its 7-inch Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet running Windows 8.1 Pro, touted as the thinnest and lightest 7-inch full Windows tablet available (with a wide variety of retail apps, including mobile POS).

Source: Yahoo!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • The only Thing Panasonic I've used are there batteries...which are crap lol. But this is good to see another manufacturer working with Microsoft for a unique experience.
  • Got to get out more, I have their old plasma tv, a DVD player, and bluray from them, all have served me well.
  • Panasonic Toughbooks are the best laptop PCs you could ever get. And all their products are better than Shamesung counterparts.
  • It's actually good to see this.... maybe it's time for these ancient Motorola devices running Windows Mobile 5 or 6 to finally get retired!
  • ^This. I'm still selling the scanner guns running winmo6.
  • With you on that. They're just terribly slow...
  • Microsoft would have to open up development for WP8 though; as of now, I'm not sure it has the capabilities to do what those WinMo devices did. I used to use one, in my first job out of college; I was a sales rep for the local Coca Cola bottler, and I'd go to mini markets and convenience store customers to take orders using a WM device with a keyboard and stylus entry.  The thing needed a landline to send information to home base and it was a pain in the rear to use.  This was in the earlier 00's before even the first iPhone.
  • This is because Motorola was the manufacture of the windows CE handheld devices before, so now they have to find other OEM. Home depot will be using Microsoft for their handheld devices this year.
  • Google didn't buy out that division of Motorola.
  • Imagine toughbooks, but for phones. Put them in every police car! Then my dad will finally get a WP.
  • Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, wtf? Couldn't they learn naming stuff in a cuter way? How about "Windows 8 embedded handheld" if size does matter?
  • WE8H? How's that for 'cuter'? Sheesh...
  • Should be Windows Embedded Handheld 8.  It'd be more fitting for all the haters.  "WE-H8"
  • Dude these are not for consumers and businesses don't care about the name.
  • Maybe they will come out with windows embedded handheld 8 home premium?
  • Why does Microsoft need a new platform for this? "What this means is customers will be able to utilise enterprise-grade security and manageability, as well as full Windows Phone 8 app compatibility, opening up solutions such as Dynamics AX, Lync and Office." Why not put that into Windows Phone?
  • True, but our phones may cost a few more bucks... I'm happy to pay but not too sure about others. Maybe it could be a purchased add-on?
  • This is not a new platform. It is the latest in what used to be called Windows Mobile. Ordinary consumers simply haven't heard about it before. The spotlight was put on Windows Phone, while Windows Mobile was still quietly cooking for OEMs doing embedded applications.
  • I think you might mean Windows CE (7)? The same platform that currently powers the car dash systems for Microsoft-partnered car OEMs.
  • Yeah that was my reaction as well. They keep talking about consolidation, but actually they're also constantly changing and adding platforms. They may consolidate their development, which is cool, but to the market it's still confusing. Why not add a security layer (e.g. disk encryption, and whatever else) into every WP installation that can be enabled by enterprise? Then BYOD will work much better and I can keep my phone. In fact why don't they also support their own MSCHAP wifi protocol so that I can connect to my company's wifi?
  • What's the benefit of this, vs producing phones without radios? Seems like WP8 could reasonably do whatever the embedded version could and be quicker to update.
  • Cheaper hardware and plafortm to maintain possibly. It's for enterprise so I would suspect that price per unit is a senstive issue.