Chitter chatter, buzz, buzz, buzz. With their embedded small form factor PCs to be seen at every sign trade show, it was only a matter of time before their little logo would appear on some digital signage software package. Their latest press release spoke of NRF and the products to be showcased and/or released at the event. Among them were further software applications for digital signage. The press release stated the following:
Featuring dynamic and cost-efficient ways to enhance the shopping experience and improve the way retailers interact with customers in the store, demonstrations will highlight multi-touch self-service devices and the benefits of a flexible, secure and managed store systems platform. Microsoft Windows Embedded will also announce and showcase a validated digital signage platform for the retail and hospitality markets. The optimized platform equips original equipment manufacturers with Windows 7 tools and technologies to help them create the next generation of digital signage applications featuring rich, connected and immersive user experiences.
Seemingly the software giant has not–as yet–built a full-fledged platform, but I wouldn’t put it past them. They’ve often been known to be a sneaky bunch of buggers. It looks as though they are giving existing software vendors more tools for creating more rich-user experiences using Windows 7 and other applications. Because the press released is geared toward Microsoft’s involvement in the National Retail Federation show, it obviously reeks of utilizing their technologies for retail applications, which go beyond digital signage, but when it comes to even a little entrance, it may not be long before we see full-on entrance.