Microsoft Advancing POS System Capabilities by Providing First Look at Latest Unveiling for Embedded Platforms

NEW YORK — Jan. 10, 2011 — Today, at the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention & Expo, Microsoft unveiled the community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded POSReady 7. This latest offering from Microsoft’s point-of-service (POS) family is optimized for retail and hospitality solutions by unleashing the power of Windows 7 for in-store devices, moving from transaction processing to cutting-edge, attractive POS devices that support increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and staff productivity. Beginning today, OEMs, ISVs, developers and retailers can download the Windows Embedded POSReady 7 CTP by visiting http://www.windowsembedded.com/posready.

Retailers and hospitality organizations are increasingly seeking ways to enhance their in-store POS devices through an assortment of functions and applications, while reducing in-store operational costs and providing enhanced, differentiated customer experiences. In particular, maintaining payment card industry (PCI) compliance and easily integrating into existing IT frameworks, while lowering maintenance and production costs, have become priorities. The evolving nature of POS devices over the past several years, from purely transactional to an important function for customer interactions, has also become an area of focus for retailers.

Windows Embedded POSReady 7 is optimized for specialized devices in the retail and hospitality markets, enabling organizations to address a variety of industry-specific scenarios on a breadth of POS devices, including transactional and informational kiosk, self-service, vending, and others. Windows Embedded POSReady 7 is the successor to Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 and comes with an array of new features to ensure increased productivity and promote effective relationship-building, all while meeting industry regulations for PCI compliance, deployment, security and management.

Windows Embedded POSReady 7’s new features available through today’s CTP announcement include these:

  • Support for Windows Touch multi-gesture touch interfaces to provide employees with intuitive graphics while maintaining a simple and fast approach to transaction processes — meaning a better overall experience for customers looking to speed through long checkout lines

  • Internet Explorer 8 protected mode and phishing filter for increased security and Web connectivity

  • Windows Media Player 12 for a seamless multimedia experience on POS devices

  • AppLocker, a simple and flexible mechanism that allows administrators to specify exactly what is allowed to run on their POS devices

  • BitLocker, BitLocker To Go and Encrypting File System (EFS) for increased encryption of internal hard disks, local folders, and external thumb drives and hard disks, giving IT administrators greater protection of highly important data from unauthorized users or external attackers

“Today’s announcement from Microsoft represents a critical advancement within the retail and hospitality industry by illustrating our ongoing commitment to fostering innovation and supporting the rich ecosystem of developers, OEMs and retailers who want access to the latest Windows 7-based technologies,” said John Doyle, group product manager for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. “In an ever-growing connected society, the retail and hospitality industries need cutting-edge technologies that are aimed at improving customer service and relationship-building, growing brand awareness, and optimizing productivity. With Windows Embedded POSReady 7, we’re aiming to address these demands and continue to make strides reflecting the evolving marketplace.”

At Booth No. 836, Windows Embedded will demonstrate devices incorporating Windows Embedded POSReady 7 , including the Retalix 10 POS industry solution and the Retalix 10 Customer Kiosk. Retalix, known for 30 years for its best-of-class innovative retail solutions and services and unmatched retail expertise, is launching its new innovative Retalix 10 Store Suite. The POS suite, based on Microsoft .NET, connects to the Retalix 10 server and offers innovative Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and a .NET-based graphical user interface (GUI) driven by the latest UI methodologies to increase performance, ease of use and user experience. In addition, the company will demonstrate its Retalix 10 Customer Kiosk, which provides personalized information and services custom-tailored to a retailer’s preference. And finally, Razorfish will be demonstrating an immersive self-service experience through the Customer @ Store scenario at NRF, leveraging Windows Embedded POSReady technologies. The kiosk is aimed at enhancing consumers’ self-service experiences through intuitive displays and by meshing marketing strategy and content, all through an easy-to-use medium.

A key highlight of the conference will be the Big !deas Session delivered by Barb Edson, senior director of the Windows Embedded Marketing Group at Microsoft, on Monday, Jan. 10, from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in room 3D04 within the expo hall. Edson will detail what is possible firsthand via innovative solutions from Microsoft partners, and will demonstrate how adding connected devices built on Windows Embedded platforms such as Windows Embedded POSReady 7 can strengthen IT infrastructure, empower improved information usage, support more impactful customer engagements and drive sales.

The Windows Embedded POSReady 7 CTP marks a critical step for device manufacturers and retailers to begin working with the platform before it is released to manufacturing (RTM) later this year.

To keep up with all the latest happenings from the event, be sure to bookmark all the Windows Embedded digital avenues including the Windows Embedded News Center and the Windows Embedded Twitter and Flickr pages.