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Windows 7-Based Embedded 2011 Goes Retail

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Microsoft kicked off its attendance at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & Expo in New York this week by introducing a digital signage solution based on Windows Embedded Standard 2011, as well as an edition of its Dynamics AX ERP (enterprise resource planning) package designed for the retail sector.

Windows Embedded Standard 2011 is a Windows 7-based release of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) embedded operating system which runs on 2010 Intel Core i7 processor technology. The proof-of-concept demo has been optimized to support digital signs in a retail setting.

“The optimized platform simplifies development, helping to lower the total cost of ownership [and] enables digital signage device-makers to focus on creating rich, connected user experiences that can be managed remotely and deployed anywhere from quick service restaurants and airports to hotels, cruise ships and retail stores,” Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft, said in an online statement Monday.

Among the optimized features in Embedded Standard 2011 are support for panning and zoom, touch and gesture input, video analytics for measuring campaign effectiveness, remote deployment and management, and power management capabilities.

The Windows Embedded Standard 2011 signage platform is slated to ship during the second quarter of the year, according to company statements.

Meanwhile, Microsoft also debuted Dynamics AX for Retail at the NRF show.

The latest edition of Dynamic AX provides integration across multiple systems, including point of sale, store management, supply chain, merchandising and financials, a company statement said.

“[With Dynamics AX for Retail], we have enabled a truly connected retailer experience through a single, end-to-end Microsoft-provided solution … customers can lower the total cost of ownership, reduce complexity and improve the accuracy of information,” Crispin Read, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, said in a statement.

Among the features recently added to Dynamics AX are support for Microsoft’s Payment Service.

Payment Service enables customers to handle transactions — using payment processors like First Data Merchant Services — from the Microsoft Dynamics ERP interface across multiple channels, including e-commerce, point-of-sale, and call center transactions.

Additionally, Dynamics AX for Retail will work with the company’s Commerce Service, which will provide support for “multichannel commerce scenarios” by tying into e-commerce sites, digital storefronts, and shopping cart capabilities. Microsoft said it will deliver Commerce Service in the first half of 2010.

Dynamics AX for Retail is currently on track to ship in 16 languages, including English, during the summer of 2010.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of the network.

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