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Microsoft Releases Two New Products to Support Retail and Hospitality POS Systems

Tuesday 24 May 2005 14:45 CET | News

Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service made its official debut with support from more than 40 partners and several retail customers at the Retail Systems 2005 conference in Chicago, marking the first time a Windows XP Embedded operating system has been designed and optimized specifically for the retail technology environment.

Windows Embedded for Point of Service is Microsofts new retail optimized software platform that will enable retail and hospitality organizations to simplify the setup, use and management of their point of service (POS) systems. The announcement comes on the heels of last weeks launch of the Microsoft Point of Sale product from Microsoft Business Solutions, giving the companys retail portfolio a strong one-two punch to help small and mid-size retailers reap all of the technology benefits that larger retailers have been putting into action for more than a decade. Microsofts focus on retail began to really take off in 1994, with the release of OPOS, a standard specification for peripheral connectivity on retail task-centric devices, such as Point of Sale. Developed in cooperation with leaders in the retail industry OPOS quickly became a de-facto standard for point-of-sale development in the retail environment. As such, OPOS opened up the retail technology market for competition, and was eventually adopted as a standard by the Association for Retail Technology Standards. (ARTS) Microsoft followed up on the success of OPOS with the ActiveStore initiative and Windows CE in 1999, Windows XP Embedded in 2001, and a host of XML-based Web standards to help facilitate integration of retail technologies and to create applications and devices that support retailers. ActiveStore also played a pivotal role in the industry, laying the groundwork for the integration of retail applications we see today. Today, the companys commitment to meeting retailers individual needs is apparent throughout Microsofts retail organization. In addition to recent XML standards work, the company offers a range of operating systems and development platforms for all types of devices and software. Microsoft Point of Sale Offers Automation to Any Size Retailer As part of that effort to provide customer choice, the Microsoft Business Solutions division develops an array of business software to help small and midsize businesses, large organizations, and divisions of global enterprises run their business more effectively. The new application from Microsoft Business Solutions released last week, Microsoft Point of Sale, now brings even the smallest of retailers a way to confidently and cost-effectively do what their larger counterparts began doing years ago -- pull the plug on inefficient electronic cash registers and manual business management methods. Microsoft Point of Sale automates sales, inventory and store management to help these small retailers survive and thrive in todays competitive retail environment. According to Mike Dickstein, director of Microsoft Point of Sale solutions at Microsoft Business Solutions, small retailers are a powerful but underserved market for retail software. These customers have traditionally had little to no choice at all. They could either acquire a sophisticated POS application designed for much larger retailers -- which usually are too complicated, expensive to implement, and not the right functionality for a small retailer -- or they could simply get a cash register. Some small retailers have even chosen to manage their business by manual methods or cigar-box methods -- literally tracking sales and inventory by hand. According to Dickstein, the Microsoft Point of Sale application is designed to replace the electronic cash register, and provides the additional functionality of integrated credit and debit card processing, the ability to track sales transactions and customer purchase history, and the ability to automate inventory management. The solution also integrates with popular accounting packages such as QuickBooks. Dickstein also states that since the application can run on a standard PC using Windows XP, retailers can build on their existing investment in technology to get the system up and


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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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