Talk about a nice deal! AP is reporting that the U.S. Census Bureau has signed a 5-year, $600 million contract with Harris Corporation for data collection for the 2010 census that includes the deployment of Windows Mobile devices in the field by census takers –
The portable devices are being designed to allow census workers to immediately record information they gather when going door-to-door to American households, said Monty Wood, a spokesman for the Census Bureau.
While the devices (which will be manufactured by Taiwan’s HTC) are critical for the collection of census data, they will not be used for other functionality (PIM, e-mail, etc). This will remain with the Census Bureau’s RIM Blackberry devices –
Wood said the devices will not be used as cell phones or for other functions such as sending e-mail, and will not replace bureau employees’ BlackBerry communicators.
“It’s not like a BlackBerry,” he said. “It’s specified designed for the census 2010 application.”
And here I was, getting worried that there weren’t enough large-scale enterprise deployments of Windows Mobile devices for custom application usage… 😉
Source: Yahoo! News
UPDATE: According to a Bloomberg article (spotted at Smartphone Thoughts – thanks, Mike!) , the deal equates to 500,000 devices (and an equal amount of Windows Mobile 5.0 licenses for Microsoft).