How Microsoft Could Lose Its Grip on “Rugged” Devices

When a UPS delivery worker shows up at your house, the bulky handheld that he yanks out for you to write your digital signature is known as a “rugged device.” Microsoft’s older Windows Mobile operating system is running on the vast majority of these devices, but competitors are offering rugged alternatives on newer software, and it’s questionable how long Microsoft can fend them off.

Rugged devices are designed to tolerate the abuse of being outdoors on a regular basis. They’re often sealed to prevent rain, moisture and dust from getting inside, and their cases

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