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BlogsAsk The Experts ForumWhat Is the Difference Between Windows and Open-Source Operating Systems or Software for RFID?

What Is the Difference Between Windows and Open-Source Operating Systems or Software for RFID?

Posted By RFID Journal, 12.19.2011
Please contrast the two. Thanks.

—Name withheld

I assume your question relates to RFID readers and the operating systems that run them. These devices are essentially personal computers with a radio enabling them to communicate with RFID tags. These computers can run applications for filtering tags, and for passing data along to back-end systems.

Some companies have chosen to employ Microsoft's Windows CE operating system on their readers, because the Windows environment is well-known to developers, and it is thus easier to write applications that run on them. Other companies have opted to use Linux since it is open-source, and they thus need not pay royalties to the operating system's owner.

I do not believe that a reader's operating system has much influence on which interrogators companies purchase, however. Ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) readers based on the EPC Gen 2 protocol run what is known as the Low-Level Reader Protocol (LLRP), which allows these devices to communicate with middleware in a standardized manner. Applications can be written for either Linux or Windows CE readers. Therefore, most firms make purchasing decision based on cost, reader performance, form factor and other more significant differences.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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