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1/16/2007
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Microsoft, HP, And First Data Partner On Point-Of-Sale System

The system, with Microsoft software, First Data payment processing, and Hewlett-Packard hardware, is designed for more than 2 million retailers who now operate with little more than a cash register and dial-up connection for credit card authorization.

Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and First Data launched a point-of-sale software-hardware package for small retailers. The system includes payment-processing, inventory management, and sales tracking.

Called the First Data POS Value Exchange, the companies unveiled the joint product at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention & Expo being held this week in New York. Along with the partnership, Microsoft also launched Point of Sale 2.0 for small businesses and the Retail Management System 2.0 for medium-sized organizations. Both software packages fall under the software maker's Dynamics business applications brand.

The PC-based POS Value Exchange includes First Data's payment-processing technology, which handles all forms of payment, including credit, debit, gift cards, and checks. Microsoft POS 2.0 provides inventory management and sales tracking. The software is preinstalled in HP's retail-specific rp5000 computer, which offers a touch-screen display. The new product also comes with firewall and antivirus software.

The POS Value Exchange is aimed at more than 2 million retailers operating with little more than a cash register and dial-up connection for credit card authorizations, Mike Dickstein, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics in the United States, said Tuesday. "It truly enables a small retailer to automate his point of sale." The PC-based Value Exchange is designed for a single store with up to five lanes. It's available through the three partners and independent sales organizations.

POS 2.0 is integrated with Microsoft's financial application for small businesses, Office Accounting Professional 2007. Both applications can run on the same PC or separate machines, and the accounting software can be locked down, so it's only accessible to a store owner and not cashiers, Dickstein said.

POS 2.0 can also be used for Internet retail, offering online invoicing and integration with the PayPal payment service and eBay marketplace. The beefier Retail Management System 2.0 can manage more complex inventory and provide purchase order creation through Microsoft Office.

Pricing for POS 2.0 and RMS 2.0 starts at $799 and $1,190, respectively, for a single store, single lane.

This story was updated Jan. 23 to correct the spelling of Mike Dickstein's name.

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