Novell Launches Linux POS Solution

Novell today announced its latest Linux-based point of sale solution, Novell Linux Point of Service 9. Novell claims that the solution is the only Linux distribution specifically designed for retail point of service.

Novell Linux Point of Service 9 is based on SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server (SLES) and Novell Desktop and is intended for retail store sales terminals, as well as kiosks and self-service systems.

The solution has five customizable images starting at only 30MB that promise end users the best fit for their particular environment. Images can include KDE or GNOME desktop, as well as browser and office applications. Novell also offers additional tools that allow for the integration of third-party, point-of-service applications into the solution. Novell Linux Point of Service also enables users to remotely install and administer systems from a central location.

According to Matt French, Novell product manager, Novell Point of Service 9 is not a “traditional” embedded offering.

“One of the benefits of the product is that Novell has predefined these images that customers can use as a base image to build from,” French told “The advantage over traditional embedded is that you don’t have to build an image from the ground up. Novell Linux Point of Service doesn’t include a traditional embedded offering, but has aspects of embedded that retailers need, such as the reduced footprint of the client images.”

Since January 2004, Novell has had a relationship with IBM for Linux retail solutions, an offering called IBM Retail Environment for SUSE LINUX. So far, according to Novell, the IBM relationship has been very successful.

“IBM has significant expertise in the retail industry and is the largest POS hardware vendor,” French explained. “Through their expertise and market position, they have been a great partner in promoting Linux to retailers. We have been successful through the partnership to help IBM customers, such as Pep Boys and Circuit City, deploy IBM Retail Environment for SUSE Linux.”

Partnerships are seen by Novell as the key to the success of the Linux Point of Service solution, according to French.

“We now have two of the top three retail POS hardware vendors as OEM partners. In addition, we have more than 30 retail industry ISVs who support the product,” French said. “Through these partnerships, we’ll be able to provide a complete solution to customers and provide an alternative to Microsoft Windows.”

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