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Big Vendors Leap To More Linux In Retail Stores

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Although Microsoft is becoming an increasingly formidable rival in the same space, IBM, Sun, Oracle, and many other vendors are now responding to renewed opportunities for Linux in department store environments, as retail chains like Circuit City, Pep Boys, and Urban Outfitters start to step to 100-percent Linux deployments on their store-level IT systems.

At the NRF (National Retail Federation) show in New York City last week, for instance, Circuit City outlined plans for an in-store architecture that will use software from 360Commerce to implement Linux all the way from POS (point of service) terminals to the branch back office.

Slated for a pilot starting in March, the in-store implementation will be part of a new multichannel implementation, also relying on 360's middleware, that brings together in-store, catalog, and Web-based selling on the same back end, said Michael Jones, Circuit City's CIO, in a presentation at the show.

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