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Advantages of POSReady2009 Over Windows 7? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am debating over whether to use POSReady2009 or Windows 7 OS for a POS application I am developing that will go to production eventually.
    The following are some advantages and disadvantages between these systems that I can think of right now, please comment.

    Advantages of POSReady 2009:
    • Leaner
    • More secure
    • Less resource intensive
    Disadvantages of POSReady 2009:
    • You have to get it through a MS POSReady 2009 OEM partner
    • POSReady 2009 preloaded system(hardware and software) prices are usually higher than on the shelf PCs loaded with Windows 7
    • Based on Windows XP has shorter support life span than Windows 7
    Advantages of Windows 7
    • Windows 7 PCs are practically everywhere and cheap.
    • Most software are up to date(.NET 3.5, IE 8, etc).
    • All hardware drivers are integrated by manufacturer for an off shelf PC.
    • Expect longer term support than Windows XP.
    Disadvantage of Windows 7
    • Loaded with unnecessary programs and processes for a POS machine.
    Friday, December 18, 2009 3:32 PM

Answers

  • Azhao,

    Both POSReady 2009 and Windows 7 would make fine operating systems for Point of Sale.  Most current Point of Sale applications were authored for Windows XP and have not been updated to Windows 7 and this is one key advantage that POSReady 2009 has as it is based on Windows XP.  From a PCI-DSS perspective you would certainly be able to harden both operating systems satisfactorily to satisfy the PCI-DSS requirements.  POSReady does not contain many of the consumer features that are found in Windows 7 such as HomeGroup, Gadgets, Games, etc., either becuase they were introduced with Windows 7 or are not useful in enterprise retail scenarios.

    You mention cost and support lifecycle, but you may not be taking into account the advantages that Windows Embedded brings to the table.  Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 will be in mainstream support through 2014 with extended support available through 2019.  Typically Point of Sale hardware also carries a longer support lifecycle than consumer hardware.  It is also engineered to operate if much harsher conditions than your typical desktop computer.  The cooling systems on these cases are engineered to withstand limited airflow with these devices being in semi enclosed spaces.  Many of these devices also sport touch screen monitors and integrated MSR, bar code scanners, as well as pole displays, which are all very common in the retail space.

    When you look at retail specific hardware you will find that the cost of Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 is much lower than Windows 7 that you would purchase at retail.  You can even obtain POS systems with Windows 7 preinstalled, but carries Embedded restrictions which limits the use of the device to one single purpose similar to the Windows Embedded POSReady licensing.  You cannot use an operating system that carries Embedded restrictions for personal productivity or multi-purposes.   

    POSReady is designed primarily for the large scale retailers where point of sale terminals are dedicated devices for transaction processing.  If you require the ability to perform Point of Sale transactions as well as write a Word document or create an Excel spreadsheet on the same device then you cannot legally use a Windows Embedded platform, and must use a retail version of Windows 7.

    Terry Warwick
    Microsoft
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 6:11 PM