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Functionality, Graphics Drive Sales of Windows-Based POS: Study

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Enhanced functionality and graphical interfaces continue to drive sales of Windows-based POS terminals, securing the platform's leading installed base representing 42 percent of all supermarkets, according to the "2008 North American Retail POS Terminal Study," released last month by retail technology consultancy IHL Group, Franklin, Tenn.

Across all retail channels, Windows operating systems drove $3.8 billion of the $5.56 Billion North American retail POS terminal market in 2007. IBM 4690 terminals generated $1.02 billion and Linux-based machines $475 million, with DOS and other operating systems being installed on the remainder of units.

"Upgrades to POS technologies continue to drive store renovation and serve as the primary customer-facing device in retail," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL. "These new industry-standard installations open the door for retailers to add more advanced functionalities such as CRM loyalty systems, cross-channel integration (merging the website with the store for a single view of the customer) and better inventory visibility for associates at the point of customer interaction."

Overall shipments increased 5 percent in 2006, with specialty stores, quick service/fast food restaurants, and supercenters providing the greatest growth and department stores showing the only negative growth for the year.

Other segments, such as Grocery, saw shipments typically including touch-screen, liquid-crystal-display (LCD) interfaces that replaced aging hardware. These trends are expected to continue for 2008, according to IHL.

In addition, retailers in all vertical segments are seeing a larger impact due to the challenges of PCI compliance, and recent security breaches weigh heavily on their POS purchase decision-making process, according to the study.

Additional findings include:
- The installed base of WEPOS and Windows XP Embedded terminals increased by over 400,000 units in the US and Canada in 2007.
- The installed base of Linux terminals increased over 32 percent year to year.
- In 2008, peripherals such as POS printers, LCD displays and updated scanners should continue to see strong growth, while sales of the core POS unit should slow due to normal purchasing cycles.

The study reviews the shipments and installed base of POS terminals sold into retailers in North America. It includes market shipment and installed base figures, market value, situation analysis for 10 retail market segments, overall trends affecting the POS market, and forecasts through 2012.

The study is available at
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