Rite Aid, Metro Cash & Carry Among First to Adopt Microsoft Windows XP Embedded for Next Generation of Retail Point-of-Sale Systems

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2002 — In an important demonstration of industry support for Microsoft® Windows® XP Embedded as the platform for retail point of sale (POS), Microsoft Corp. today announced at the National Retail Federation show that two leading retailers, Rite Aid Corp. and Metro Cash & Carry, are the newest enterprises to choose the recently launched technology platform to transform their retail store systems.

“We are extremely gratified to see the retail enterprise and software development communities recognizing the potential of Windows XP Embedded to revolutionize their in-store systems,”
said Gary Cooke, global industry manager, retail and hospitality at Microsoft.
“The retail industry urgently needs advanced operating system capabilities to accommodate the evolving challenges of customer interaction, store automation and multichannel commerce. Windows XP Embedded enables retailers to migrate to new technologies that will help them realize direct business benefits and gain an advantage in today’s hypercompetitive market.”

At Rite Aid, one of the country’s leading drugstore chains, Windows XP Embedded will be the foundation for the development of multipurpose store systems in 3,600 stores nationwide. This will include 28,000 POS devices, in-store electronic customer prescription applications, kiosks and other innovative technologies designed to enhance the customer experience and streamline business processes.

“We needed an operating system to be able to do many things across the store. Windows XP Embedded will help us to develop a consistent, integrated technology environment across all store platforms, from operating system to development environment to in-store devices, and to create and deploy new applications that will give us an advantage in our industry,”
said Don Davis, CIO of Rite Aid.

Metro Cash & Carry, the world’s leading wholesaler, will implement a single POS solution internationally across its outlets, using software developer Wincor Nixdorf’s Trading Post, the first commercial POS software built on Microsoft Windows XP Embedded. Metro and Wincor-Nixdorf GmbH & Co. have been co-developing pilot applications specific to Cash & Carry’s needs, including in-store and retail back-office software. Metro will begin its installations in Cash & Carry outlets in Spain as early as September 2002.

“The capabilities of Windows XP Embedded allowed us to fine-tune Trading Post to perfectly meet Metro’s requirements, including a modular design, high-integration capability and suitability for international use,”
said Achim Schlangenotto, manager of retail software and services at Wincor Nixdorf.

“Thanks to Trading Post’s component-based architecture, the plug-and-play methodology — a well-known and highly valued feature in the hardware world — can be ported across to this software. All together, these characteristics ensure Metro has high levels of investment protection and low operating costs,”
said Heinz Josef Boeck, CEO of METRO AG’s IT subsidiary MGI.

Microsoft Windows XP Embedded, which shipped in November 2001, marks the first time that key technologies required by the new generation of retail point-of-sale solutions have been incorporated into a single, complete embedded offering. Many retailers today are making plans to update their POS solutions and are looking for systems that provide much greater functionality, interoperability and flexibility.

Windows XP Embedded provides retailers with one of the most reliable, flexible and customizable POS solutions on the market, while allowing for full integration with legacy systems and existing hardware. Of particular importance for retailers is that, for retail POS devices, Windows XP Embedded separates the Windows XP operating system into components from which they can pick and choose according to their individual business needs, lowering the total cost of ownership and creating the smallest possible footprint for their POS systems.

Integrated into Windows XP Embedded is a complete collection of mission-critical technologies — including USB support, dual-monitor display, multiuser login and, in a future release, remote boot and diskless operation — that anticipate and address the unique demands of the retail environment.

  • USB support enables plug-and-play installation of peripheral devices such as printers and scanners.

  • Dual-monitor display capability eliminates the need to write custom software to enable deployment of monitors for both checkers and customers at POS stations.

  • Multiuser login enables two or more store personnel to be logged in simultaneously at a POS station — allowing, for example, a clerk to ring up a sale in another department, or a manager to override a transaction while the clerk stays logged in.

  • Remote boot capability allows POS devices to be managed from a central location and simplifies the deployment of software updates.

  • Diskless operation helps lower the total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for hard drives — which contain moving parts prone to breakdown — in POS terminals.

  • Small memory footprint means that because the Windows XP operating system is organized into components, software developers and systems integrators can build a POS platform using only the components required. This allows for a POS platform configuration as small as 32 MB of RAM.

About Rite Aid

Rite Aid Corp. is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains, with annual revenues of more than $14 billion and approximately 3,600 stores in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s Web site at http://www.riteaid.com/ .

About Metro Cash & Carry and METRO AG

Metro Cash & Carry, the largest division within one of world’s leading retail companies METRO AG, with a share of 45 percent of total group sales, offers its comprehensive, high-quality product assortment to professional customers, especially in retail and catering, as well as large scale institutions such as canteens and hospitals.

METRO AG was created in July 1996 as a result of the merger of Metro Cash & Carry, Kaufhof Holding AG and Asko Deutsche Kaufhaus AG. In 2000, the group generated net sales of 42 billion euros and today has more than 2,200 outlets in 24 countries. Around 45 percent of net sales comes from foreign business in Europe, Morocco and China alone.

About Wincor Nixdorf

Wincor Nixdorf GmbH is one of the leading and fastest-growing providers of IT solutions and products as well as services in the field of banking and retail. The company employs approximately 3,600 people and earned revenue of 1.337 billion euros in fiscal year 1999-2000, with a worldwide scope of action in 40 countries and with 28 subsidiaries.

In the field of electronic POS systems, Wincor Nixdorf is the market leader in Germany and No. 3 worldwide. In the field of automated teller machines, Wincor Nixdorf is the market leader in Germany, No. 2 in Europe and No. 3 worldwide.

Wincor Nixdorf offers products and solutions for the entire chain of the added-value branch of the distribution sector: from electronic point-of-sale systems to data warehouse applications.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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 and Windows 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.

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