Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
People love choices. Choices increase competition and innovation. This is happening in POS right now as there are more viable operating system options than ever before.
Much of this is driven by the increased competition in the retail and hospitality spaces. Companies are working harder than ever to win the sale. Customer engagement is top of mind to be competitive. This has given iOS and Android some room to move into POS and play a major role where Windows traditionally dominates. Many are asking; what OS based solutions should I be offering?
Most of the channel bases their solutions around Microsoft Windows. It has been this way for a long time and has proven to be a viable product to sell and service. Not much has changed; Windows is still the leading OS for the solutions that BlueStar offers. Now there is movement being made within Microsoft and the Windows family of products. With the release of Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft has established their commitment to being touch and mobile friendly. Consumers are asking for businesses to offer service that is customer facing and experience based. This requires mobile solutions using handheld products. Microsoft is uniquely positioned to offer tablets that run the same OS as the POS terminal and backend server. This allows for a seamless integration and the ability to scale operations. Windows was not the first to release mobility products but they are now offering hardware that will help bridge the gap into the future of POS.
Android is dominating the world’s consumer mobile phone market with over 80% share. This market domination is driven by form factor options, price and availability. Those same factors are now driving interest for this OS in the POS world. Microsoft has been the leader for a long time, resellers are looking to understand mobile to meet the demands of shoppers that want engagement. Every situation is different and will require hardware that meets the need. This is the perfect place for Android to make a play. There are hundreds if not thousands of variations of Android devices to choose. Many may think that these are consumer grade devices but the reality is many of our hardware partners are now making Android hardware. HP, Motorola, Honeywell, etc. are all actively making hardware that runs Android. This hardware is typically priced lower than similar hardware running a Windows OS. There are also many using Android devices as add-ons to Microsoft based set ups. This is a great way to get the best of both worlds. Android has a lot of room to grow in our channel with a lot of potential due to the flexibility and breadth of products.
Apple’s primary focus has always been on consumer, design, and education. Graphic designers and other creative driven positions have been the dedicated users of the Macintosh computer. With the introduction of iPads and iPhones, Apple has found a way into the POS space. Much of this success is because Apple was one of the first companies to offer a lineup of products that met the needs for mobile customer engagement. Furthermore, Apple has done a very good job of creating a platform that attracts developers. This is evident in the rapid growth of their App Store. Developers have taken well to making POS applications for iOS and hardware vendors have been quick to make peripherals that support this movement. iOS devices can be less expensive and have a smaller footprint than traditional POS systems. They also provide an interface and appearance that many users are accustomed to using on their personal devices. Mobile solutions are growing in popularity and developers are continually providing resources to allow them to be used in more solutions.
Let’s continue the conversation
BlueStar is bringing this discussion to you through four roadshow events in 2014! POSitive Trends is a one of a kind event that will feature solutions that display Windows, Android and iOS. We are visiting Los Angeles (Costa Mesa), Chicago, Boston and Dallas. Click here (http://www.bluestarinc.com/us-en/solutions/traveling-road-shows/positive-trends.html) for the dates and show information.