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Microsoft, HP, First Data Offer Small Retailers POS Software-Hardware Package

The offering includes payment processing, inventory management, and sales tracking.

Aiming squarely at small retailers, First Data, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft have launched a point-of-sale software-hardware package that includes payment processing, inventory management, and sales tracking.

Called the First Data POS Value Exchange, the joint product was unveiled at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention & Expo this week in New York. Microsoft also debuted Point of Sale 2.0 for small businesses and the Retail Management System 2.0 for midsize 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 from credit, debit, and gift cards to checks. Microsoft POS 2.0 provides inventory management and sales tracking. The software is pre-installed in HP's retail-specific rp5000 computer, which offers a touch-screen display.

The POS Value Exchange is offered as a PC-based alternative to a cash register and traditional point-of-sale terminal. The new product is designed for a single store with up to five lanes. It's available through the three partners, as well as independent sales organizations.

Microsoft has designed POS 2.0 to provide separate functionality for cashiers and managers. The software also offers integration with Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2007. POS 2.0 also can 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.

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