Microsoft and Industry Partners Offer Complete Point-of-Sale Software and Hardware Solutions for Small Retailers

REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 16, 2006 — Furthering its commitment to delivering versatile retail software that meets the unique needs of small retailers, Microsoft Corp. today announced new relationships with three well-known hardware manufacturers to provide point-of-sale (POS) terminals pre-loaded with Microsoft® Point of Sale software. The company today also debuted the latest version of Microsoft Retail Management System featuring multiple enhancements as well as improved integration with Microsoft Dynamics™ GP financial management software.

“To stay competitive with big-box chains, today’s smaller retailers need agile software that integrates point-of-sale information all the way through to their back-end financial systems, yet is also simple to implement and maintain,” said Mike Dickstein, director of point-of-sale solutions at Microsoft. “Microsoft and its partners are dedicated to making it easier for single-store proprietors as well as fast-growing businesses with multiple locations to adopt retail technology, both hardware and software, that works the way they do business.”

Pre-Loaded Hardware Simplifies Retail Processes

Microsoft has teamed with retail POS hardware manufacturers Casio Inc., DigiPoS Systems Group and HP to introduce complete hardware and software solutions that deliver versatility and reliability for smaller retailers. These vendors’ offerings feature Microsoft Point of Sale — an easy-to-use, affordable application that enables small, independent retailers to track and manage sales, inventory and customer information — packaged with hardware and peripherals to simplify the purchasing, deployment and implementation processes for retailers.

The Casio QT-8000CW-MBD point-of-sale touch-screen terminal is designed for single-store retailers seeking to replace a conventional electronic cash register system.

“This package is easy for smaller businesses to install and enables them to automate their stores at a very affordable price,” said Larry Sampey, general manager of the Systems Products Division at Casio. “Packaging Casio and Microsoft retail products together also makes acquiring these capabilities simpler and more cost-effective than ever for our customers.”

The new HP rp5000 POS system from HP has been customized to withstand the rigors of the retail environment with enhanced peripheral support as well as components that combine the functionality of popular proprietary systems with the low price and flexibility of PC-based POS systems.

“HP is now able to offer small-business retailers the benefits of our retail-hardened HP rp5000 point-of-sale system with Microsoft’s new POS software application,” said Carol Potts, vice president for Retail Industry Solutions at HP. “This winning combination of increased flexibility, manageability and low purchase price can help reduce the total cost of true POS technology ownership for small-business owners.”

DigiPoS Systems has also unveiled its new solution that offers unique cable management and powered serial ports with the reliability of Intel technology, offering retailers a tailored solution at a competitive price. “Over the years there have been a number of retail point-of-sale applications in the market offering a wide range of generic functionality from small software companies. With the introduction of Microsoft Point of Sale, now smaller retailers can make an investment in a software partner that will continue to support and grow the application for the retailer,” said Mark Leaper, CEO of DigiPoS Systems. “Microsoft Point of Sale finally offers stability in a software solution for the small and growing retailer.”

These hardware and software solutions are initially available in the U.S. only through multiple distributors, with an expected manufacturer’s suggested retail price* of under $3,000 (U.S).

Microsoft Retail Management System 1.3 Enhances Overall Performance

The release of Microsoft Retail Management System 1.3 brings improved overall performance to small and midsize businesses, including improved scalability to meet the needs of midsize retailers. Enhanced integration of the software’s Headquarters module with Microsoft Dynamics GP creates greater business agility and financial management reach, including better coordination and tracking of store and headquarters information between the two applications, the ability to better track inventory throughout the supply chain, improved visibility into sales transactions at the individual store level, and deeper insights into general ledger activities. Customers also can configure the Headquarters module to automatically delete completed worksheets, freeing up memory and improving system performance.

Updates to the Store Operations module include improved compliance with Payment Application Best Practices of the Visa Cardholder Information Security Program. For example, the software masks a customers’ data so their full credit card number is not available. It also truncates information about each credit card transaction. When a preferred payment provider such as Vital Processing Services LLC is used, the Store Operations module deletes the credit card transaction information after successful settlement.

Microsoft Retail Management System 1.3 is available in English-speaking countries starting at $1,190 (U.S.).*

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft and Microsoft Dynamics 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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