REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 3, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will ship Windows®
Embedded for Point of Service, a software platform that will enable retail and hospitality organizations to simplify the setup, use and management of their point of service (POS) systems. Windows Embedded for Point of Service will be the first industry-specific software platform to provide plug-and-play functionality that enables retail peripherals to be easily installed and managed. This feature addresses industry feedback that integration and management of retail device peripherals such as scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers and magnetic stripe readers continue to be costly and time-consuming. Based on technologies available in Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 2 (SP2), which also was announced today, Windows Embedded for Point of Service is optimized for retailers to enhance the customer experience at the point of service, increase reliability and security, and deliver low life-cycle costs for POS systems.
As part of Microsoft’s early joint development program, more than 30 industry-leading retail and hospitality device makers and application vendors are working with Microsoft to develop customer solutions built on Windows Embedded for Point of Service. Some of these vendors include original equipment manufacturers Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., Micros Systems Inc. and Wincor-Nixdorf Inc.; independent software vendors Altiris Inc., CRS Retail Systems Inc., InfoGenesis, NSB Group, Retalix, Sorimachi-Giken Co. Ltd. and xpient Solutions; retail peripheral companies APG Cash Drawer Inc., Ingenico, Seiko Epson Corp., Memory Technology Corp., Tatung Co. and Ultimate Technology Corp.; and systems integrator BSQUARE Corp.
“Together with industry partners, we are forging new ground for the retail and hospitality industries by building integrated solutions on Windows Embedded for Point of Service,” said Todd Warren, corporate vice president of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “When available, these solutions will give our mutual customers even greater hardware flexibility through innovative plug-and-play technology as well as a manageable platform that enables emerging technologies like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or multimedia to enhance the customer experience and to increase the productivity of in-store and information technology personnel.”
Keith McNamara, senior vice president of general merchandise and software operations at Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, said, “Fujitsu’s goal is to provide a platform that helps reduce costs and allows for the addition of new applications at the point of service that can improve the in-store experience — for both retailers and shoppers alike. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is scheduled to be the next milestone in our technology road map for retailers that select Windows as their strategic platform.”
Life-Cycle Costs and Ease of Use
The standard software platform in Windows Embedded for Point of Service simplifies the setup, deployment and management of POS systems, resulting in faster development and integration of systems, applications and device peripherals. Based on technologies in Windows XP Embedded with SP2, Windows Embedded for Point of Service benefits from strong security settings and easier management. The three primary design goals for Windows Embedded for Point of Service are as follows:
Be easy to set up, use and manage. Plug-and-play functionality easily integrates and manages retail device peripherals such as scanners, receipt printers and cash drawers. In addition, support for the Unified Point of Service (UPOS) standard, compatibility with Win32® -based applications, and support for the Microsoft®
.NET Framework simplify the setup, use and management of POS systems. Stronger default security settings and tools increase network protection to enable a more secure experience on POS systems.
Enable scenarios for today and tomorrow. Support for advanced multimedia technologies such as Windows Media®
Player, support for emerging technologies such as RFID and biometrics, and communications technologies such as wireless networking create opportunities for innovative new retail solutions and customer interactions.
Reduce life-cycle costs. A standard software platform that uses familiar deployment technologies and support for management technologies such as Software Update Services 2.0, Windows Update Services and Systems Management Server 2003 — and a platform with a support policy of 10 years –reduces development, deployment, servicing and support costs through the life cycle of the POS system.
Windows Embedded for Point of Service will be available to device makers and end customers in the first half of 2005 through Windows Embedded partners. Customers interested in learning more about Windows Embedded for Point of Service or Windows XP Embedded with SP 2 should contact Microsoft or visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/getstart/devplat/pos .
Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative
Windows Embedded for Point of Service will be a core offering of Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative, which provides an innovative approach based on open standards to allow retailers to take full advantage of their legacy investments by connecting the retail enterprise to the store and the consumer. More information about Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smartretail .
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