Microsoft and IBM to Collaborate on a Pre-Installed Windows Embedded-Based Point-of-Service Solution for the Retail and Hospitality Industries

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Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service offering tapped as standard

     Windows platform for IBM retail systems.

    REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 26 /-/ -- Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is working with IBM Corp. to deliver a powerful Windows Embedded-based plug-and-play solution to help make it faster and easier for retailers and hospitality organizations to deliver information and services to time-conscious, empowered consumers.

    

    According to the two companies, Microsoft's Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating system will come pre-loaded on IBM point-of-sale, self- checkout and self-service kiosks offerings. The combined solution provides retailers and hospitality operators with a simple, easy-to-manage point-of- service platform for empowering workers, and connecting consumers to products and information in a seamless, integrated retail environment.

    "This is about helping our clients win in the marketplace by providing them a choice of solutions to enable them to more efficiently manage their businesses, and better serve increasingly demanding consumers," said Alan Outlaw, business line executive, IBM Point-of-Sale Solutions. "Windows Embedded for Point of Service gives us yet another option for clients who want to add Windows as part of their IT infrastructure."

    Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point of Service is a point-of-service operating system platform based on Microsoft Windows technologies optimized for the retail industry. It is the first point-of-service operating system to provide plug-and-play functionality for retail device peripherals, with IBM being a leading retail vendor to offer Windows Embedded for Point of Service as a pre-installed option to its client.

    Windows Embedded for Point of Service is offered pre-installed on IBM AnyPlace Kiosk, Self Checkout and SurePOS 700, 500 and 300 point-of-sale systems, IBM's premier open system hardware platforms for the retail and hospitality industries. The Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating system fully supports standard retail applications and device peripherals, and the solution includes an easy upgrade path to Windows XP for Embedded Systems or Windows Vista for Embedded Systems. The pre-loaded IBM systems will have increased language support for 33 dialects and will support a number of industry standards such as biometrics, electronic journal, bill acceptor, SmartCard and ClearInput.

    The powerful, retail-oriented offering will be pre-configured to support and easily connect to a broad range of retail applications and devices. Its standards-based framework and built-in networking capabilities enable fast development and delivery of new POS solutions.

    Microsoft also announced today strong growth of Windows Embedded in the retail market. According to a recent report* published by IHL Group Inc., a retail industry research firm, the total number of Windows Embedded Point of Service users in North American grew by 250 percent in 2007. In a second study with RIS News, IHL also found that 63 percent of retailers were seriously considering a Microsoft Windows Embedded operating system for their next POS purchase.

    "Retail and hospitality organizations globally are keenly focused on making the in-store shopping experience compelling for consumers while also looking for ways to drive down costs through improved efficiencies," said Ilya Bukshteyn, director of marketing for Windows Embedded at Microsoft. "This demand signals the need for technology solutions that deliver a smart, connected service-oriented experience. Microsoft's collaboration with IBM is a terrific example of the positive response to our embedded point-of-service retail and hospitality strategy."

    Additional information on Microsoft's Windows Embedded for Point of Service platform can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/wepos, or at the blog site at http://blogs.msdn.com/pointofservice. As a way to streamline the solutions validation phase, retailers and hospitality operators will be able to try the solution for up to 120 days before making a purchase decision.

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

    * Source: 5th Annual IHL/RIS News Store Systems Study, January 2008.
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