Last week, Mercury Systems was installed for the first time on a new touch-screen laptop running Windows 8, and I am happy to report that everything worked perfectly. The customer had purchased a Dell XPS-12 flip-screen laptop, and being a touch-screen meant that he can now record customer signatures directly into Mercury Systems. As it is a Windows device (i.e. not using Apple IOS or Android operating systems), he can also run Mercury K-Base to look up installation guides, parts diagrams, service bulletins etc. and run other Windows software, just as he can in his office.
If you are considering giving smartphone or iPad devices to your engineers, it may be an option to equip them with a Windows-based touch screen device instead, such as the XPS-12, so that they can run standard Windows software. Currently these are expensive devices, however the prices should fall over time.
(FOR OFFICE-BASED USERS, at the time of writing I still recommend and prefer Windows 7 if you can manage to obtain it from your pc supplier)
(note: do not buy a device with ‘Windows RT’ operating system installed. Windows RT is designed for tablets, however is it not backwards-compatible with any software that you are currently running on your office pc’s. The device must be running either Windows 8 or Windows 8 ‘Pro’ operating systems if you want to run ‘traditional’ Windows software such as Mercury Systems)