Remember when Brazilian police snatched up a stolen Sony Xperia C5 Ultra demo unit? That was pretty cool. But what if police actually used smartphones in the line of duty instead of just seizing them? Police departments have been trying to push into the 21st century with their tactics and tools for … 15 years now. We haven’t reported much on the transformation of policing since 2009. But this story’s worth sharing because it involves a mobile platform underdog: we can now confirm that Windows software for mobile devices is running on active NYPD equipment.
Officers from the 43rd precinct were some of the first to be trained on how to use their new tools last week. Minutes after the training session, a couple of the officers made their first arrests with the help of their smartphones. The officers look to be using either forked Windows devices specifically for the NYPD or just plain Windows devices with special apps for policing.
But this story started back in 2013 when 400 Android-powered smartphones were used in a New York Police Department pilot program. Officers could flip through building records, arrest records, photographs and plenty of geotag data to help them out on their patrols. Then came the announcement back in October of last year that the city had finally decided to acquire 35,000 phones — one for every officer on the force — and 6,000 tablets at a cost of $160 million. And all of that hardware looked to be running Windows Phone software.
Whatever the case may be for the platform switch, this activation has certainly been a buoy for Microsoft’s third-place efforts in mobile and mobile enterprise. We just have to wonder whether or not Windows 10 Mobile might throw a monkey wrench into the works. We’ll see.