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LINUX BASED POS TERMINALS INCREASE 80% IN 2001.

The population of Retail Point of Sale Terminals running Linux in North America increased 80% according to a new study released recently from IHL Consulting Group. However, shipments of the popular open-source operating system actually decreased from 2000.

"We began the year projecting 300-400% growth for Linux," says Greg Buzek, President of IHL Consulting Group. "But two large retail defections from planned rollouts of POS units greatly hampered the growth of the operating system. Musicland was just about ready to roll with Linux when they were purchased by Best Buy, a Windows NT shop. Best Buy changed those Linux plans. And Home Depot also was looking to roll with Linux at the POS, but those plans were nixed when the company made several management changes."

According to the study, Linux shipment growth was a victim of these circumstances and an overall slowdown in POS rollouts.

"Linux is a technology that still needs a few more marquee accounts to be a serious contender to Microsoft in the Retail POS Market," added Buzek. "Several POS vendors like IBM, NCR, Wincor-Nixdorf and Fujitsu Transaction Solutions support Linux but are finding few retailers willing to make the jump away from DOS, Windows, or IBM's 4690 Operating System. That being said, Linux has some strong growth potential in the right situations. The best opportunities for Linux-based POS are in those accounts that want full control of their POS development efforts."

At the operating system level in 2001, Microsoft dominated the POS Terminal shipments with 69% of the market with Windows NT/2000/XP(46%) and Windows 9x/CE (23%). IBM's 4690 continued its strength, particularly in the Mass Merchants and Supercenter/Warehouse Clubs where it garnered 80% of all shipments. Linux represented 2% of shipments, much lower than the 6% projected at the beginning of the year.

IHL's Study, "2002 North American Retail POS Market Study" reviews the shipments and installed base of POS terminals sold into retailers in North America. It includes market shipment and installed base figures, a situation analysis for 10 retail market segments, overall trends affecting the POS market, and forecasts through 2006. This is the first of a series of studies in 2002 prepared by IHL Consulting Group in conjunction with The Association of Retail Technology Standards (ARTS).
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Comment:LINUX BASED POS TERMINALS INCREASE 80% IN 2001.
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:378
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