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In the less than two years since its launch, Windows 7 has come to dominate corporate and consumer PCs and notebooks, with well more than 350 million licenses sold as of last winter.
Now, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) aims to do the same for all sorts of retail and point-of-service (POS) environments.
This week, the software giant announced it has released Windows Embedded POSReady 7, the embedded version of Windows 7 meant for use in in-store kiosks, self-service checkout stands, cash registers, digital signage, fuel pumps, and other applications where the customer or seller needs to interact with store computer systems, the company said in a statement.
POS device OEMs that go with Embedded POSReady 7 can take advantage of features such as Windows 7's multi-touch user interface, and support for Windows Media Player 12 to provide multimedia experiences.
It also provides Windows 7 security capabilities, including Windows AppLocker to limit the applications that can be run on the POS device to those specified by administrators, as well as BitLocker, BitLocker To Go, and Encrypting File System to protect important data from unauthorized access or attack, the statement added.
Additionally, devices running Windows Embedded POSReady 7 can be managed from Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011, an add-on to Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager 2007 that enables administrators to manage devices using the embedded version from a single system, and to perform simultaneous updates across the enterprise.
"[The Windows Embedded] POSReady 7 operating system [also] provides the tools to help retailers meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance," the statement said.
Microsoft released a so-called community technology preview, or CTP, of Windows Embedded POSReady 7 at the 100th National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & Expo in New York in January.
Microsoft was joined in this week's announcement by a group of OEM partners, including IBM, NEC Infrontia, Touch Dynamic, Fujitsu, NCR, and HP.