Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS) 1.1 has been released - you can get the POS for .NET 1.1 download on MSDN Downloads.

WEPOS 1.1 adds support for a series of new device types including coin dispenser, keylock, MICR (magnetic ink character recognition), POS power, scale, signature capture and tone indicator - one of the coolest aspects of the update is the ability to target Windows XP and Windows Embedded for Point of Service operating systems - this means that you could have a Windows XP based "POS" system that doesn't only run the dedicated POS application, but could also have your accounting software, Office Applications, and Solitaire!

There's a pretty interesting article on eWeek which discusses some of the updates to WEPOS 1.1 - Here's an extract from the article.

<snip>The retail POS market has sharply changed in the last two years since Microsoft's entry, said Greg Buzek, president of the IHL Consulting Group.

In its latest market study, which was published in January, Windows Embedded POS was being "seriously considered" by 51 percent of the surveyed retailers. "They went from zero two years ago to 51 percent now." </snip>

From a developers point of view the reason why WEPOS is so interesting for Point of Service and Point of Sale devices is the way in which support for retail peripherals are integrated into the development process - with Linux developers have to spend huge amounts of time integrating their POS peripherals into the operating system, and then also need to integrate support for those peripherals into the POS application. - With WEPOS the integration work is already done, application developers simply need to focus on writing the "glue" code that links the peripherals and data store together.

A short while ago I posted a code snippet that showed how simple it is to read data from a barcode scanner - note that the code sample doesn't contain any information about the make or model of the scanner.

- Mike