Retailers Need to Upgrade

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-10-05 Print this article Print

POS"> Microsofts timing is good, as retailers are now going to have to migrate or upgrade their POS systems very soon. "In this day and age, there is so much happening on the regulatory front and the like that your POS system cant stay static. There are simply too many opportunities out there such as electronic checks, RFID, new Visa regulations," Prince said. "There is just so much pressure on evolving point of sale and, with the limitation of older platforms, there are plenty of reasons why people are going to want to move." That said, Prince doubts that this new Microsoft will prompt many large retailers to change. "I doubt that for many people this will be a tipping point. The operating system is not the tail that wags the dog. You [change POS systems] because of limitations in your current environment."
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As for Microsofts peripheral plug-and-play claim, Prince said he hasnt seen that as an issue recently due to standardization and other initiatives. "The bigger issue for us were the older legacy devices that nobody was supporting anymore." Microsofts Starkweather sees quite a few retailers making the move soon. He cited figures that would have as many as 75 percent of retailers preparing to replace their POS within 18 months to two years. Starkweather pointed to lack of standards and the difficulty of systems management within POS today as critical issues for retailers looking to move on. Windows Embedded for Point Of Service is "a fixed operating system that is easy to set up and manage. It includes just those components that make the most sense" for retailers, he said. Microsoft said that it is working with more than 30 retail device makers and application vendors, including Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., Micros Systems Inc. , Wincor-Nixdorf Inc., Altiris Inc., CRS Retail Systems Inc., InfoGenesis, NSB Group, Retalix and xpient Solutions; retail peripheral companies APG Cash Drawer Inc., Ingenico, Seiko Epson Corp., Sorimachi-Giken Co. Ltd., Memory Technology Corp., Tatung Co. and Ultimate Technology Corp.; and systems integrator BSquare Corp. Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at Check out eWEEK.coms Retail Center for the latest news, views and analysis of this vital industry.

Evan Schuman is the editor of's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at

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