REDMOND, Wash. — March 8, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide availability of Windows® Embedded for Point of Service version 1.1. Since it was launched in May 2005, Windows Embedded for Point of Service has gained considerable momentum with device-makers, application vendors and retailers across the globe, helping address the industry’s short-term challenges and maximize the use of legacy peripherals, while at the same time helping retailers plan for long-term investments such as radio frequency identification (RFID) readers, biometric scanners and other cutting-edge technologies.
Microsoft® Windows Embedded for Point of Service version 1.1 is being launched with worldwide support from more than 50 retail industry system providers, peripheral suppliers and application vendors. Because of this extensive industry adoption, retailers such as Virgin Megastores (), Brown Shoe Company Inc. (U.S.), Charles Vogele Holding AG () and De Bijenkorf (Netherlands) have selected Windows Embedded for Point of Service to improve the customer experience at the point of service, while improving system efficiency.
“Windows Embedded for Point of Service is a flexible and powerful tool for retailers like Virgin Megastores,” said Robert Fort, director of information technology at Virgin Entertainment Group Inc. “By leveraging the devices, applications and scenarios the platform enables, not only will Virgin be able to provide our customers what they want, we will also better understand our customer’s future needs.”
In a survey completed by the retail and hospitality industry analyst firm IHL Consulting Group Inc., between 37 percent and 45 percent of retailers purchasing new point-of-sale terminals want to continue to use existing peripherals. To address this often unmet need, Windows Embedded for Point of Service version 1.1 includes support for both new and legacy retail peripherals. Windows Embedded for Point of Service version 1.1 provides updated support for the UnifiedPOS retail peripheral standard version 1.9 and expanded support for legacy device peripherals such as Coin Dispenser, Keylock, Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR), POS Power, Scale, Signature Capture and Tone Indicator. This enables retailers to continue using existing retail peripherals while point-of-service systems are upgraded.
“We’re working with industry leaders to transform POS terminals into next-generation information portals,” said Jane Gilson, director of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “The features and functionalities we are introducing in this next version of Windows Embedded for Point of Service help extend and protect our customers’ existing investments, while enabling them to benefit from the latest advances.”
Microsoft is featuring Windows Embedded for Point of Service version 1.1 as a core offering within its Smarter Retailing™ initiative, which is designed to help retailers dramatically improve how they sell and operate through better access to customer and product information. Usage of Microsoft software by retailers is growing significantly; in an additional January 2006 RIS News/IHL Store Systems Study, 64 percent of participating retailers said they are currently using a Microsoft Windows operating system for their POS clients, up from 55 percent in last year’s survey. The Smarter Retailing infrastructure extends the retail-optimized software platform capabilities to other Windows operating system customers. In fact, retailers that have licensed Windows XP Professional for their POS terminals can now take advantage of the simplified device management support that was previously only available in Windows Embedded for Point of Service, through the recently released Microsoft POS for .NET 1.1, which can be downloaded free from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads.
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, enabling retail peripherals to be easily installed and managed. This integration and management helps retailers lower device life-cycle costs and reduce time spent connecting devices. More information on Windows Embedded for Point of Service can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/wepos; a catalog of products verified to work with Windows Embedded for Point of Service can be found at http://www.windowsembeddeddevices.com/wepos.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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