There appears to be a movement in Germany at the moment towards using Windows Phone in law enforcement as part of an effort to eradicate paperwork and increase police time on the beat.
We have seen several police forces in Germany adopt Windows 10 Mobile and the UWP app platform, and the latest to join the list is the Hamburg force, who just purchased 900 Lumia Windows Phones at the cost of 100,000 Euro.
In internal documents the force describes how using the UWP platform they will be able to increase the efficiency of police officers by processing incident reports digitally and directly into the police database.
The also describe how using UWP apps they can use the same app on the phone, laptop or tablet, desktop and even the backend system, with differing user interfaces and capabilities.
Officers on the beat would have access to the information systems, and internal messaging service and various applications for incident reports. On a bigger screen they would of course be able to do much more.
This vertical market approach, where the absence of 3rd party apps, especially consumer apps, do not matter, and integration with Microsoft’s backend systems are more important, has great potential to cement Windows 10 Mobile as an enterprise platform and as part of the Windows in enterprise story as a whole, particularly due to being able to leverage existing developer and platform management talent already in place in businesses.
Due to the small size of the market however there is an issue with the availability of low-cost devices. In this deployment each handset appears to have cost around 110 Euro. With Lumias disappearing from the market the cheapest enterprise Windows Phone will likely be many multiples of that price.
Of course HP is rumoured to be working on a cheaper device and appears to be attacking this market head-on, so we may see a healthy niche developing for our favourite mobile OS that seems determined to live on long after everyone declared it to be dead.