Microsoft's new POS version of Windows Embedded is a clear sign of things to come--though not of the ultimate outcome.
Where does a 10-ton elephant sit? Wherever he wants. Microsoft, the software industry's biggest elephant, is now sitting in device software. In fact, the company recently introduced its first version of Windows Embedded tailored for a vertical market, in this case point-of-sale.
Clearly, Microsoft has its eyes on the DSO market. Far less clear, however, is whether the software vendor can dominate the business, and if so, to what degree. While its Windows and Office juggernauts show no sign of fading, Microsoft's forays into the handheld OS space show that smaller competitors, working either singly (such as Palm) or in concert (such as Symbian), can resist if not completely defeat the Redmond onslaught.
It's a truism that Microsoft's customers respect Microsoft more than they like it or its products. Given a choice, many have opted to leave the Microsoft fold. Especially in the device-software field, where compatibility with Windows is less of an issue, this is what Microsoft is up against.