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The Visible Value Blog

Three Things to Know about the Link-OS™ Environment

Posted by Leo Lowy

October 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

We've spent a lot of time together over the last year exploring the Link-OS environment, what it makes possible and how it’s changing what a printer can do. This week, Zebra announced the release of new Link-OS functionality that helps make Zebra devices even smarter and more flexible. It’s an exciting next step in this journey.


As technology evolves, we see a continued demand for devices that are intelligent and able to communicate with the software and systems that already exist in our customers' enterprises. Printers need to be easier to integrate and easier to manage. That’s where Link-OS comes in.

You can check out the full announcement here, but here’s how Link-OS can positively impact you and your business.

1) The Link-OS environment includes a new device operating system, which gives Zebra printers a common place to start from. Put another way, this new operating system makes our printers smart. It enables our printers to talk with PCs, terminals and host-side software applications, running in the Cloud or within corporate networks.

It’s helpful to think it this way; we’ve all come to expect that the devices we use every day, like mobile phones and tablets, are supported by a technology environment that integrates them with our data sources. Files, updates, print tasks and settings should flow naturally from the data source to the device. The Link-OS environment and operating system makes this possible with our printers.

2) The Link-OS environment includes a suite of software applications that Zebra customers can optionally select to add flexibility and functionality to their Link-OS printers. By using these applications, integrating and managing the Link-OS device is remarkably simple.

For example, the “Profile Manager” app gives you the ability to manage your Link-OS printers from one application. The “Cloud Connect” app allows Link-OS printers to connect to the Cloud, directly and securely. You can learn more about the applications currently available and compatible printers by visiting: www.zebra.com/linkos

3) The Link-OS environment includes a very powerful multi-platform software development kit (SDK). This SDK contains all the information, documentation and coding samples software developers need to create their own apps.

We’re giving developers the tools they need to create custom apps that work for their exact situations. For example, if a developer needs to print asset labels from an Android device, they can create that app. Or if they need to capture a delivery signature and print a receipt from an iPhone, they can do that too. We’ve already seen some great apps being created and released.

The top three ideas I mentioned above are a great place to start when exploring what Link-OS can do for you. We’re excited about the range of capabilities contained within the Link-OS environment and plan to quickly keep rolling out new system components.

Have questions? Feel free to post them here or email inquiries to linkos@zebra.com. And don’t forget to check out the new Link-OS page at www.zebra.com/linkos.

About the Author: Leo Lowy is a Global Product Management Manager for the Zebra Link-OS environment. Leo is part of the large, dedicated global team who are involved in the design, development, creation and marketing of this exciting new environment.

Topics: Retail, Manufacturing, Government, Link-OS Environment