CHICAGO — May 24, 2005 — Today at the Retail Systems 2005 Conference & Exposition, Microsoft Corp. announced the worldwide availability of its new Windows® Embedded for Point of Service software platform. Directly addressing the top challenges at the point of service faced by retail and hospitality organizations, Windows Embedded for Point of Service simplifies setup, deployment and management, includes support for new technologies designed to improve the customer experience and offers low system life-cycle costs. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is launching with tremendous support from retail industry system providers, peripheral suppliers and application vendors, offering retail customers a range of solutions to choose from to update existing or create new point-of-service systems. Two of these customers are OfficeMax Inc. and Rite Aid Corp., both of which are in the process of evaluating and testing Windows Embedded for Point of Service. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is available to retail and hospitality organizations from their Windows Embedded original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service is the easy-to-use, retail-optimized software platform that will give back time to retailers and enable them to focus on their No. 1 priority: helping their customers,” said Jane Gilson, director of marketing for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “Together with our industry partners, we are excited to launch this new offering and help revolutionize the point-of-service industry.”
Based on Microsoft® Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 2, Windows Embedded for Point of Service supports a broad range of retail applications, device peripherals and service scenarios. With solutions being developed by more than 40 industry partners, companies in the retail and hospitality industries can immediately start exploring the range of new opportunities enabled by Windows Embedded for Point of Service. Rite Aid, one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains, has identified Windows Embedded for Point of Service as a smart progression of the point of service system and is currently testing for possible deployment, with the goal of continuing to provide the best experience for customers. OfficeMax, a leader in both business-to-business and retail office products distribution, is also testing Windows Embedded for Point of Service.
“This new operating system from Microsoft supports our ongoing efforts to deliver exceptional customer service by providing a stable and easy-to-deploy platform for point-of-service systems,” said Randy Burdick, chief information officer at OfficeMax. “Windows Embedded for Point of Service will enable OfficeMax to deliver innovative experiences for our customers, using advanced technologies such as Windows Media®, RFID, biometrics and wireless networking.”
As the only point-of-service software platform on the market to support peripheral plug-and-play functionality — the feature most requested by retailers — Windows Embedded for Point of Service will make implementation and integration with existing systems easier for retailers. Strong default security settings such as a hardened Internet Explorer, Windows Logon and buffer overrun protection, as well as a minimized operating system surface area to reduce system vulnerabilities. Additional support for Windows Update management technologies simplifies update identification and installation on Windows Embedded for Point of Service systems, providing network protection and enabling a more secure experience for customers. Further, support for third-party security solutions from companies such as Computer Associates International Inc. and Sygate Inc. provides customers with enhanced security for their point-of-service systems.
With Windows Embedded for Point of Service, customers can lower service and maintenance costs through the use of familiar deployment technologies and management technologies such as Software Update Services (SUS) 2.0 and Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. In addition, the Windows Embedded for Point of Service system offers the longest published support policy, 10 years. Retail and hospitality organizations can also create new and richer interactive experiences at the point of service by utilizing the advanced multimedia technologies available in Windows Embedded for Point of Service including Windows Media; emerging technologies such as RFID and biometrics; and full network technology support for wireless communications. Retail-specific features such as remote boot, multiuser logon and dual-display support help to create a flexible POS environment that retail and hospitality organizations can use to interact with, support and provide additional value to customers in exciting, new ways.
In conjunction with the product launch, Microsoft is also announcing the availability of the Windows Embedded for Point of Service Product Catalog, which will make it easy for retail and hospitality enterprises to quickly identify the retail peripherals and applications verified to work with Windows Embedded for Point of Service. Conducted by Microsoft’s third-party verification organization, VeriTest, the verification program ensures that customers have access to a database of retail peripherals and applications optimized for use with Windows Embedded for Point of Service.
Windows Embedded for Point of Service launch participants include the following:
ACA Group BV
APG Cash Drawer Inc.
Cherry Electrical Products
Citizen Systems America Corp.
Computer Associates International Inc.
CRS Retail Systems Inc.
Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc.
Hand Held Products Inc.
Korea Printing Systems Co.
MICROS Systems Inc.
MMF Cash Drawer Co.
Seiko Epson Corp.
Sorimachi-Giken Co. Ltd.
Symbol Technologies Inc.
Trade Link Retail Systems
Ultimate Technology Corp.
Device-makers and retailers can obtain Windows Embedded for Point of Service through Windows Embedded OEMs. More information is available by contacting Microsoft or visiting http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/wepos.
About Windows Embedded for Point of Service
Windows Embedded for Point of Service is the first retail optimized software platform to provide plug-and-play functionality to enable retail peripherals to be easily installed and managed. Easier integration and management of retail device peripherals through plug-and-play functionality will help lower device life-cycle costs and help reduce time spent connecting devices. The Windows Embedded for Point of Service Product Catalog is available at http://www.windowsembeddeddevices.com/wepos.
New Offering Within Microsoft Smarter Retailing
Microsoft is featuring Windows Embedded for Point of Service as a core offering within Microsoft Smarter Retailing, which is designed to help retailers dramatically improve how they sell and operate through better access to customer and product information. Based on proven technologies, Smarter Retailing provides a business and technology infrastructure that incorporates retail industry best practices. Designed to optimize business processes, the Smarter Retailing architecture enables retailers to reduce costs, run more efficiently, gain greater business visibility, and make better and faster business decisions. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/smartretail.
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Windows Embedded for Point of Service Partner Quotes
Microsoft® Windows® Embedded for Point of Service, a component of Microsoft’s Smarter Retailing Initiative, is optimized for the retail and hospitality industries, delivering easy setup, use and management, lowering life-cycle costs, and enabling new and enhanced retail scenarios for customers implementing point-of-service systems. Microsoft developed Windows Embedded for Point of Service in close collaboration with retail device-makers and application vendors. The following comments are from some of the companies that have worked with Microsoft to ensure a powerful retail experience for their mutual customers:
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service managed by Altiris IT lifecycle management solutions promotes flexible and secure retail systems that are easily integrated, deployed and maintained. As an early adopter of new Microsoft technology, Altiris continues to work with Microsoft to provide IT life-cycle management solutions for the latest Windows operating systems to help customers manage their IT infrastructure more efficiently and reduce costs.”
— Dwain Kinghorn, Chief Technology Officer, Altiris Inc.
“APG Cash Drawer is working to improve service to retailers with tight integration for Windows Embedded for Point of Service and its plug-and-play functionality, one of the most-requested features from retailers. We look forward to helping our mutual customers improve their installation and configuration of third-party controls by making it easier and more manageable.”
— Mark Olson, President, APG Cash Drawer Inc.
“Cherry is proud to support Microsoft’s powerful WEPOS initiative with our POS products — including the all-new reduced-size POS keyboard. We feel WEPOS begins a new era in open-architecture point-of-sale solutions.”
— Reinhard Fischer, Marketing Manager, Keyboard Products, Cherry Electrical Products
“Retailers need a flexible, secure and easy-to-manage point-of-service platform that fully leverages mainstream technologies to enhance the customer experience. Microsoft’s Windows Embedded for Point of Service fulfills this requirement by enabling retailers to apply the same best-in-class solutions they use in their enterprise environments, such as Computer Associates’ eTrust Antivirus, to support their evolving retail environments.”
— Greg Jensen, Product Manager for eTrust Antivirus, Computer Associates International Inc.
“CRS is among the first software companies to support store applications running on Windows Embedded for Point of Service, Microsoft’s new standard software platform optimized for retail applications. We have adopted the Windows Embedded for Point of Service software platform for use with our flagship CRS RetailStore suite of point-of-sale and back-office applications, which handle all transactions, processes and workflow typical of a retail store environment. Windows Embedded for Point of Service enables seamless plug-and-play functionality, simplifying the setup, use and management of retailers’ point-of-sale systems and device peripherals. This supports CRS’ goal of delivering seamless integrated solutions to help retailers improve the store experience for both customers and sales associates, while driving profitability and efficiency.”
— Kathy Frommer, Chief Executive Officer, CRS Retail Systems Inc.
“Device security is a critical requirement, especially for machines deployed in public areas such as airports and retail environments. FullArmor GPAnywhere enhances existing Windows Embedded for Point of Service security and helps lower overall life-cycle management costs by using an organization’s existing Active Directory® infrastructure to extend and enforce Group Policy controls on these devices.”
— Danny Kim, Chief Technology Officer, FullArmor Corp.
“Hand Held Products’ ultimate goal is to help retailers overcome business challenges while improving the customer experience. We’ve found that the most effective way to achieve this is to partner with leading technology providers and to take advantage of new technology capabilities, such as Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service.”
— Mike Ehrhart, CTO, Hand Held Products Inc.
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service provides the next evolution by allowing both retailers and software developers to focus primarily on business issues, rather than having to deal with the technology aspects of solving the business problem. By combining Windows Embedded for Point of Service with industry-leading, best-of-breed point-of-sale solutions, based on the industry-standard HP rp5000, retailers are now able to use technology as a tool to help them focus on their customers, their supply chain and their competition.”
— Robert Corbett, Director, Retail & Distribution Industry Solutions
The Americas, HP
“InfoTouch is delighted to be present at the launch of Windows Embedded for Point of Service and to announce that Microsoft and VeriTest have verified our InfoTouch Store Manager point-of-sale solution for Windows Embedded for Point of Service. We have always believed in the openness, power and flexibility of Microsoft’s operating systems for point-of-sale scenarios and we think Windows Embedded for Point of Service is the best ever. The proven features of Windows combined with the ease of use, setup, deployment and strong security features built into Windows Embedded for Point of Service make the software platform a great solution for retailers. We look forward to deploying our best-of-breed Store Manager POS on Windows Embedded for Point of Service.”
— Keith Neerman, Chief Executive Officer, InfoTouch Corp.
“MICROS has realized tremendous success delivering low total cost of ownership with Windows Embedded software platforms. We are excited about the prospect of delivering lower deployment and maintenance costs to our customers while maintaining excellent interoperability features using Windows Embedded for Point of Service.”
— Ed Rothenberg, Vice President, Research and Development, Restaurant Products, MICROS Systems Inc.
“MMF Cash Drawer drivers have been developed to meet all the compatibility requirements of Windows Embedded for Point of Service and provide users with the added benefits of cash drawer statistics reporting, field upgradeability and a low cost of ownership. For 50 percent of the price of a new cash drawer, existing or future customers of the current series of Heritage cash drawers can easily upgrade them to USB to take advantage of the Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service software platform.”
— Bill Youngquist, Vice President of Sales, MMF Cash Drawer Co.
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service brings a reliable and optimized solution for the point-of-sale market. Windows Embedded for Point of Service provides low life-cycle costs by decreasing costs associated with deployment, servicing, maintenance and POS hardware while providing the longest product support life cycle for point-of-service systems. M-Systems’ flash-based POS storage solutions — uDiskOnChip, iDiskOnChip and IDE 4000 — provide retail systems with cost-effective and reliable persistent storage. The combination of Windows Embedded for Point of Service and M-Systems’ flash storage products offer the POS market a set of solutions that contribute to a low total cost of ownership.”
— Ofer Tsur, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Embedded Division, M-Systems
“By offering Windows Embedded for Point of Service as a standard platform for Retalix POS applications, we will offer our customers simplified setup and deployment, as well as the ability to reduce the time spent on developing and testing of components.”
— Marty Ramos, Chief Architect, Retalix Ltd.
“Star Micronics has always played an innovative role in the printer industry. Our participation in the launch of Windows Embedded for Point of Service is the most recent example of that role. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is a truly innovative platform that brings a number of advantages to point-of-sale systems, including simplifying the setup, deployment and management of POS systems. We believe that the TSP700 and, soon, Star’s full line of receipt printers are ideal complements to Windows Embedded for Point of Service because of the many benefits the line brings to a broad range of point-of-sale applications.”
— Michael Hanson, Vice President, Star Micronics
“As a Microsoft Smarter Retailing Initiative partner, Symbol Technologies recognizes the value provided by Windows Embedded for Point of Service. This unique offering will drive in-store systems’ effectiveness and efficiency with simplified setup, deployment and management of POS systems.”
— Verlin Youd, Vice President Retail, Symbol Technologies Inc.
“Trade Link Retail Systems is looking forward to supporting the new Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service software platform in South Africa. This is seen as an important and strategic development to address the needs of the major retail chains in South Africa.”
— Ashley Lattimer, Chief Executive Officer, Trade Link Retail Systems
“Offering Windows Embedded for Point of Service on our point-of-sale systems solutions is significant for our customers. Windows Embedded for Point of Service is optimized for the retail industry and therefore enhances our ability to deliver POS hardware systems and services that lower retailers’ total POS system life-cycle costs.”
— John Rainsberger, Vice President of Business Development, Ultimate Technology Corp.
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service will enable compelling solutions for retailers. Ease of use, management and deployment are key drivers in implementing point-of-sale systems, along with reducing the total cost of ownership, and Windows Embedded for Point of Service directly addresses these issues. Wincor Nixdorf is pleased to offer Windows Embedded for Point of Service running on the BEETLE platform to our worldwide customer base.”
— Doug Evans, Vice President of Retail, Wincor Nixdorf USA
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The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.