Microsoft Showcases Windows 2000 Benefits for the Grocery Industry, With an Eye on the Future of E-Business

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 21, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. will use the opportunity of Marketechnics 2000 to showcase the advantages that the Windows® 2000 operating system offers retailers. In addition, the event will highlight Microsoft’s efforts to promote retail integration and standardization through industry alliances, resulting in best-of-breed customer solutions.

The combination of Microsoft Ò Windows 2000 and Windows DNA represents a winning platform for customers in the grocery industry. Working in tandem, these technologies offer companies multiple benefits, including reduced development and training costs, increased business adaptability, and overall ease of implementation.

Windows DNA architecture enables in-house developers and independent software vendors to build a secure, reliable and scalable commerce infrastructure, and to develop robust, distributed applications that deliver integrated business solutions.

Microsoft’s emphasis on broad choice and flexible solutions demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the grocery segment and customer satisfaction. The company aims to deliver the best possible solutions to the retail industry, including next-generation technologies and products such as Windows 2000, just launched last week; Windows DNA, Microsoft’s software building blocks for building an effective commerce infrastructure; Microsoft SQL Server TM 7.0, Microsoft’s scalable, reliable database and data-warehousing solution; and Site Server Commerce Edition, the Microsoft solution for comprehensive Internet commerce transactions.

“Windows 2000 supports our commitment to enabling excellent solutions for the grocery industry by helping to create a true ‘digital nervous system,'”
said Tom Litchford, retail industry manager at Microsoft.
“Through increased interoperability, Windows 2000 offers retail businesses the flexibility they need to meet the demands of both in-store operations and e-business opportunities.”

Choice and Flexibility Mark Microsoft’s Commitment to the Grocery Industry

Microsoft has also seized the initiative to assist the industry in defining standards, guidelines and technologies intended to significantly benefit companies operating in the grocery industry.

  • BizTalk Framework. Microsoft’s longstanding support of XML and its work with industry- standards bodies over a five-year period led to the development of the BizTalk TM Framework. BizTalk, which defines an open set of implementation guidelines and XML tags, offers businesses an ideal way to link software applications and enable those applications for innovative business-to-business commerce on the Web.

  • OPOS initiative. Begun in 1994, this Microsoft-led multivendor initiative has delivered a de facto industry-standard programming interface for point-of-sale (POS) peripheral connectivity. This collaborative effort, the first of its kind for POS peripheral devices, isolates and protects a retailer’s investment in POS software from the underlying hardware, and provides retailers with choice in retail peripherals. The initiative now encompasses more than 200 companies worldwide.

  • ActiveStore initiative. Led by Microsoft, the ActiveStore TM retail technology architecture is a worldwide collaborative initiative begun in 1997. The initiative, which focuses on application integration, is designed to reduce the cost, time and risk associated with deploying line-of-business solutions in retail enterprises. Covering numerous aspects of retail operations, the ActiveStore technology architecture addresses Retail Business Interfaces (RBI), platform services and user interface. Through the BizTalk framework, Microsoft is the only systems vendor to drive the retail-specific services.

In addition to thought leadership in the grocery industry, Microsoft is also collaborating through key industry alliances to further provide ease of development and barrier-free progress.

  • ARTS. Microsoft is an active member of the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). Established in 1993, ARTS works to ensure that technology enhances retailers’ ability to develop store-level business solutions and avoid situations that limit their ability to implement change. Microsoft holds leading roles in this effort including sitting on the ARTS council and providing technical representation on the Data Model, Unified POS and REDX subcommittees.
    On Jan. 17, 2000, at the National Retail Federation Annual Conference, ARTS and Microsoft announced a major collaborative effort to develop standard XML messaging for the retail industry that will produce an operating-system-independent and language-neutral infrastructure.

  • Digital Receipt Alliance (DRA). Microsoft is a founding member of the Digital Receipt Alliance, a collaborative group of leading Internet and technology companies. The DRA has proposed an open, XML-based
    “digital receipt”
    standard aimed at making it easy for consumers, businesses, retailers, banks and software companies to securely send and receive information about transactions via the Internet.

In addition, Microsoft is working to develop relationships with other industry standards bodies like the Voluntary Industry Commerce Standards (VICS), the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and its subsidiary UCCnet to help reduce the cost of deploying information technology in retail and drive interactivity and information exchange throughout all retail participants.

Windows 2000: Taking Business Into the Future

Microsoft designed Windows 2000 as an ideal platform for the next generation of business computing. IT professionals in the grocery industry should find that it addresses their full range of computing needs, from handheld appliances and desktops to high-end clustered servers. Windows 2000, one of the Microsoft DNA platform products, is built to take retailers into the future by helping them Internet-enable their business with a reliable, manageable infrastructure that helps build effective organizations, foster operational excellence, and establish successful relationships with customers and suppliers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows, BizTalk and ActiveStore are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.


“Microsoft DNA 2000 architecture forms the basis of Comshare’s e-business solutions for management planning and control, which run on Windows 2000 and support SQL Server. Our customers will benefit from these Microsoft technologies through the outstanding value they provide in their ability to harness the Web’s power, especially for management planning and control.”

– David King, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and CTO
Comshare Inc.

“The supermarket industry tells Innovax that Microsoft products are the solution of choice for the integration of their store systems and the enterprise. Our new Safari system is an excellent example of how the best of Microsoft’s operating system, browser and database technologies can be implemented as business solutions for the retailer. All this, combined with Microsoft’s commitment to the retailers and their suppliers, like Innovax, makes for a winning combination.”
Bob Johnson
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Innovax Concepts Corp.

“‘click and mortar’ retailers use promOS to deliver automated registry, in-store fulfillment, layaway, raincheck and other customer service applications, as well as commerce sites. With the release of Windows 2000, SQL Server 7.0 and the upcoming Commerce Server 2000, our customers can deploy these applications seamlessly across the Web and kiosks on a technology platform suitable for their entire enterprise.”
Dean A. Sleeper
ACCESS, a Communications Company

“We made the decision to build our e-Collaboration Sofware using Microsoft technologies for strategic reasons. We believe that Microsoft is now and will continue to be a leading player in the Web arena. A Microsoft foundation also provides Eqos with the scalability to allow our tools to evolve to provide additional functionality for our customers.”
Chris Foulkes
Products & Services Director

“MATRA fully endorses the ARTS data model, led by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Microsoft. In addition, our use of SQL Server 7.0 and Windows 2000 at the heart of our Web-based back office makes it clear that Microsoft technologies represent the best platform for grocery industry solution development.”

– Andy Eastwood
MATRA Systems Inc.

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