Vista For Retail

Feb 03, 2009
by:   Tim Stanley

Having recently used Vista for about a month now, I’d like to provide some feedback on Vista’s use in Retail for POS.

In the same way that lower end versions of XP were not suitable for a multi-POS environment because of networking, security, and remote access features that are needed, Vista has similar considerations. Below is a comparable list of XP Versions and Vista Versions suitable for a retail multi-POS environment.

Windows XP Versions

Not recommended for Retail multi-POS:

  • XP Home Edition
  • XP Media Center Edition

Has the necessary features for Retail multi-POS:

  • XP Professional
  • XP Embedded (Must include Pro versions of networking, Windows Installer and WMI)

Windows Vista Versions

Not recommended for Retail multi-POS:

  • Vista Starter
  • Vista Home Basic
  • Vista Home Premium

Has the necessary features for Retail multi-POS:

  • Vista Business (Comparable to XP Professional)
  • Vista Business for Embedded Systems
  • Vista Enterprise (Comparable to Vista Business + Bitlocker & Encryption)
  • Vista Enterprise for Embedded Systems
  • Vista Ultimate

Vista 32 bit is limited to 3.5 GB of memory. Vista 64 bit allows up to 128 GB of memory, but I’ve heard reports of Vista 64 bit driver availability or conflicts that may be an issue (particularly with OPOS peripherals). Benchmarks reportedly run faster on the 64 bit version of Vista.

Vista Considerations For Retail

Vista introduces some differences in networking, administration, and security.

  • UAC – User Access Control is required for administration privileges (but can be turned off)
  • Vista provides encrypted files for some versions, good for PCI and other security related laws and guidelines
  • Backup of data and files are more complex
  • Many OPOS drivers are not listed as supporting Vista


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