Microsoft Strengthens Commitment to Retail Industry by Expanding Retail Team to Deliver Leading Technology, Solutions Worldwide

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. this week is making a strong showing at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 92nd Annual Convention & Expo to announce the recent expansion of its Retail and Hospitality Industry Solutions Group into a global team and to highlight how its dedication is paying off with strong customer growth among retail industry leaders.

Jan de Jong, formerly the general manager of the Retail and Hospitality Industry Solutions Group at Microsoft, has been named the worldwide industry executive for the group. Brian Scott, managing director, has been elevated to general manager. The executives will emphasize Microsoft’s commitment and ability to provide leading technology and solutions to the retail industry through customer meetings at NRF, and Microsoft is co-sponsoring the executive dinner at the NRF convention with partners HP and Intel Corp.

“We are thrilled to be at a point where we can expand our retail team to deliver leading technology and solutions to customers worldwide to support their business objectives,”
de Jong said.
“We’re seeing exceptional results with the retail industry in North America, and I’m looking forward to extending that momentum to customers globally.”

“In addition to our new global reach in the retail industry, Microsoft is dedicated to developing leading technologies and continuing our deep partnering efforts to deliver highly agile, retail-specific solutions,”
Scott said.
“Through our technology investments, our focus on helping the ISV community take advantage of Microsoft® .NET, and our work with technology leaders such as HP and Intel, we’re creating an environment where we collectively can deliver world-class solutions to retailers.”

Microsoft .NET Gaining Traction as Preferred Web Services Platform

Microsoft’s momentum in retail can be seen in the growing number of major customer wins that have occurred during the past year, with Microsoft .NET gaining ground as the preferred Web services platform.

Microsoft .NET offers a robust platform and state-of-the-art development tools that provide increased productivity, lower total cost of ownership, improved solutions and the flexibility to help companies connect, react and compete in a global marketplace.

Retailers taking advantage of Microsoft .NET-enabled solutions include Rite Aid Corp. and Metro Cash & Carry, which are equipping retail stores with point-of-sale (POS) systems based on the Windows®
XP Embedded operating system; Target Corp., which plans to deploy Windows XP Embedded in its Target and Mervyn’s Stores; Best Buy Co. Inc. and 7-Eleven Inc., which are using Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in their corporate and store operations; and, most recently, Home Depot Inc., which has chosen to update its store point-of-sale terminals with Microsoft technologies because of their high degree of flexibility.

Strategic partners such as JDA Software Group Inc., NCR Corp., ProClarity Corp. and, most recently, STS Systems Inc., also have chosen to deliver solutions that take advantage of Microsoft .NET to the retail industry:

  • JDA and Microsoft are jointly developing and marketing one of the first Microsoft .NET-enabled suites of applications for the retail, wholesale and consumer packaged-goods industries.

  • NCR will ensure its Advanced Store POS software solution works with Windows XP Embedded; the combination will provide retailers with a solution that addresses their current and future business needs.

  • ProClarity is offering its ProClarity Analytics Platform product family, which takes advantage of Microsoft technologies to help retailers and consumer packaged goods companies deliver business data they can act on across the organization and retail sales channels to streamline operations, improve efficiency and grow revenues.

  • STS is introducing at the NRF convention its Connected Retailer Point of Sale 6.0, powered by Coalition. It is the first store automation solution that takes advantage of Microsoft .NET, and it addresses the needs of large retailers that require full-function POS functionality on any device — from handheld to kiosk or traditional register — coupled with an even higher level of flexibility in deployment, configuration and custom development.

Microsoft .NET: the Next-Generation Retail-Hardened Platform

While Microsoft .NET helps partners more easily develop industry-specific solutions that support business efficiency, visibility and agility, Microsoft continues to develop technologies that support the Microsoft .NET vision and help solutions become even more powerful. Two recent examples with clear benefits for the retail industry, as well as ISVs and OEMs that serve the industry, are Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 1 (SP 1) and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, developed for the recent launch of the Tablet PC.

Leading retail POS OEMs Fujitsu Ltd., NCR and Wincor-Nixdorf are now shipping POS solutions based on the Windows XP Embedded with SP1 operating system, which became available in October 2002.

A key feature of Windows XP Embedded with SP1, specifically designed for the retail sector, is remote boot capability. With this functionality, retailers can reduce total cost of ownership by eliminating client-side persistent storage and reducing management costs by centrally managing devices from a server.

“The retail implementations of Windows XP Embedded with SP1 are the direct result of collaborative input from the top retail POS OEMs in the world,”
said Keith White, senior director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft.
“Their feedback helped us to deliver an optimal operating system for retail POS hardware.”

Research data from retail analyst IHL’s North America 2002 retail POS market study showed that retail POS units shipped with Windows operating systems represent 69 percent of total shipments.

Tablet PC, launched in November 2002, incorporates Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition along with extensions to Office XP Professional and has received strong attention from retailers using the Tablet PC in their store operations because of its mobility, versatility and impact on productivity.

Microsoft also continues to play a significant role in the development and implementation of retail industry standards. Since 1994, with its introduction of OPOS (now the worldwide de facto standard for POS peripheral connectivity), Microsoft has collaborated closely with the Association for Retail Technology Standards in developing standard ways in which retail systems can exchange information. More recently, Microsoft is working to help the Association for Automatic Identification and Data Capture Technologies to accelerate the adoption of Radio Frequency identification technologies, and Microsoft is announcing its development of the Microsoft BizTalk®
Toolkit for UCCnet. The toolkit allows retailers and their suppliers to quickly and cost-effectively connect to UCCnet Inc. and integrate with trading partners.

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, Windows and BizTalk 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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