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Posted By Barb EdsonGeneral Manager, Marketing and Business Development
With the holiday shopping season behind us and my upcoming travel to next week’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Annual Convention & EXPO in New York, I’ve been thinking about the opportunity we frequently discuss with retailers and hospitality organizations to transform the customer experience with intelligent systems—perhaps none as tangible as a fresh, delicious, custom-brewed cup of Costa Coffee.
The story behind the iconic red Costa Express vending machines really underscores the power and flexibility of the Microsoft platform. The UK’s leading self-service espresso bar, Costa Coffee’s acquisition of Coffee Nation in 2011 resulted in the birth of Costa Express. There are now more than 2,500 machines in the UK since the launch of Costa Express 18 months ago. Moving forward, our consulting team worked with Costa to customize a solution that met their business goals—specifically capitalizing on actionable data to drive greater ROI for Costa and, soon, a better cup for coffee lovers.
When Costa decided to build a next-generation coffee-serving machine, they wanted a flexible, end-to-end solution, so they sought out the leader in platforms for intelligent systems, business analytics and cloud computing. Working with partner Bsquare, Costa created a scalable intelligent system that delivers on the company’s goal of bringing a smarter, more connected and richer experience to the customer.
Just as it takes more than a bean to make a good cup of coffee, it takes more than a chip to run an intelligent system. The flexibility of the Windows Embedded platform was key for Bsquare and Costa; with the power to support a range of architectures, Microsoft is able to help partners develop solutions that exactly meet their needs.
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Posted By Valerie OlagueAmericas Business Group Lead
As established retailers assess the rapidly changing retail landscape, many are investing heavily in employee empowerment to enhance the in-store experience and combat sales lost to online merchants. And while empowering employees to help customers is the bedrock on which many retailers build their business, what is genuinely new is the proliferation of mobile devices as the empowerment tool of choice for customer-facing employees. During my Christmas shopping this season, I encountered all kinds of mobile sales tools, some very easy for me to interact with and frankly, some quite clumsy.
That mobile devices are changing the way the most innovative retailers are engaging with customers is increasingly obvious. The benefits are many: Employees no longer need to leave a customer to check product details, availability or pricing on a PC located elsewhere in the store. The most innovative retailers are using real-time telemetry from the devices in their stores, gaining new insight into demand and customer behavior based on analysis of information being accessed and consumed on their employees’ devices. This is an exciting opportunity for retailers to take advantage of device and technology innovations to deliver the best value to customers through improved operations and sharp business insight. The key is to provide technologies that are not only easy for the retailers, but are also easy for the store associates and customers to interact with.
Comments Intelligent Systems
Posted By John BoladianMarketing Director, Asia Pacific & Greater China
The rapid proliferation of intelligent systems in Asia-Pacific countries means that a person comes in contact with multiple embedded devices on any given day—often without even knowing it. My colleague SeongJin Kang, Windows Embedded Business Lead in Korea, shares his thoughts on this subject after a recent family outing to a local mall.
In the era of big data, we have easy access to--and are constantly flooded with--information that we are always filtering for accuracy.
The current IT technology and connectivity are growing exponentially; the speed of IT evolution seems to be beyond the speed of light. The television in the living room shows movies in 3D—a possibility that we could only imagine just a few years ago.
My Americas marketing team recently worked with Intermec and Fierce Markets to create a healthcare webinar that focuses on this question, along with how mobile devices power transformation in care, both within and outside of the healthcare provider’s four walls.
As you have heard from Microsoft many times, we believe that data is the new currency for businesses, and in the healthcare industry, the identification, storage and analysis of data can mean life or death for patients. The ability to quickly access patient information can significantly reduce the time it takes for healthcare professionals to care for patients, from admittance through discharge. And today’s embedded technologies and products are what power the various tools and devices used within healthcare scenarios.
These devices are becoming a critical part of healthcare solutions, including electronic health records and patient portals, which address some of the many challenges in healthcare today. And at the point of care, there are focused healthcare data management solutions that enhance patient safety (see “Five Rights Check” below) that leverage bar code imagers, mobile computers and printers.
The following feature updates are now available on ECE:
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