Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Windows XP No Longer Supported By Microsoft

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 1 2014.  What this means to our customers is that Microsoft no longer provides Windows Updates for  computers running Windows XP which makes them less reliable and far less secure.  It also typically means you are no longer PCI Compliant which is critical to retailers.  Here are a couple of links that provide more information on what PCI Compliance is:

PCI Compliance from 50,000 Feet
The PCI Security Standards Council Website
Microsoft's Recommendations on how to setup RMS to be PCI Compliant

RITE has options for you to upgrade your systems to Windows 7, you can either:

A)  Upgrade your current POS stations from Windows XP to Windows 7 OR
B)  Purchase new POS computers (continuing to use your existing POS peripherals)

UPGRADING YOUR EXISTING EQUIPMENT

RITE is happy to assist with the update to Windows 7 on your existing XP machines – when we do it will be time billed on an hourly basis plus any materials needed.  We strongly recommend that you have someone on your staff that is fairly technical that can dedicate a decent amount of time to getting this process completed with us.  The amount of time it will take to assist you in this process depends on a lot of factors but a ballpark estimate would be:

3 to 6 hours for the first POS
45 minutes to 2 hours for each additional POS station IF we're able to "image" it, otherwise much longer.

Time estimates could vary drastically depending on your system configuration and situation.  Factors like:
Your internet connection speed
The technical skills of the person working with us and how much of the work they are able to do
Your time flexibility
The complexity of your systems configuration

If you have multiple POS stations we may ask that you purchase “imaging” software which helps us copy one computer to another in order to save you time and money (cost of imaging software is approx. $50 and an additional hard drive is required ($80).

Here’s a list of our pros and cons when deciding whether you should upgrade your existing equipment


PROS to upgrading instead of buying new

CONS

Most likely you’ll save some money by upgrading instead of buying new.  You’ll need to buy licenses of Windows 7 Pro ($155), spend money on the labor, and you might need to do some upgrades on your computers to make them work with Win 7 but you’ll probably save money since you don’t have to buy the hardware.  Depending on the age and quality of your equipment this may only be a short term gain though (see cons).

In some cases using your old hardware may cost more considering its harder to deploy the OS efficiently on machines that we can’t prep in our offices, the fact that unexpected problems may come up when trying to reconfigure your peripherals, etc.

Computer will certainly have all of the ports needed for devices (COM, USB, LPT, etc)

After the upgrade you still have an old computer.  A new computer will come with a fresh warranty and better reliability over the next few years.

Nothing is wasted – if you have a computer that’s 4 years old it might seem like a waste to quit using it so soon, using your existing hardware means you continue to utilize something that might be perfectly good.

On the other hand – you can always re-purpose the POS stations for some other use.

Downtime – while we go through the process of upgrading the PC you won’t be able to use it.  If you purchase new computers down time is less since we can flip from the old one to the new one relatively easily


There are no guarantees your old hardware will work WELL with Windows 7.  On paper, your old computer might look like it will run fine on Windows 7 and typically they will but there’s no guarantees – and finding out midway through a migration means you just wasted a lot of time and money.


We also recommend using anti-virus / anti-malware in this scenario (see below).

PURCHASING NEW EQUIPMENT

RITE is running a promotion right now on new POS systems to make it easier for our customers to update their systems.  This special is only available until 6/30/2014

Cost

1) $580 – Retail Ready Dell Computer (promotional pricing for this event only!) – per machine
2) $360 – install / configuration for the first machine plus $90 for each additional machine.  If you have multiple stores add $90 for each additional location (to handle the per store configuration tweaks needed).
3) $TBA - trip mileage (if onsite install is desired), parts (see below), etc


What’s included?

Retail Ready Dell Optiplex with 4GB of RAM, Intel Dual Core processor, 250GB hard drive, 3 year warranty
Over 50 Windows OS configuration changes to optimize the unit for POS ease of use and security / PCI Compliance sake
Hardware will be shipped, prepped and burned in (allowed to run for 48 hours straight to ensure the equipment is defect free) in at RITE’s offices and we will either ship the units to you and work with your remotely to migrate your systems OR we can also come onsite to install the units and migrate your database over (trip charge fees apply)

Parts that would be installed on an as-needed basis
Add a parallel port ($35 per computer)
Add a COM port ($40 per computer)
Add support for a second monitor / Net Display ($25 per computer)
Add 4 additional USB slots ($40 per computer)


Options

Install database server performance package - RECOMMENDED ($390)
Upgrades the processor to a Core i5 processor and adds a second hard drive – the second one being solid state drive adding additional performance and reliability.  We setup a process that backs up the database to the secondary hard drive three times daily.

Webroots Virus Protection (per machine - 1 year) - $35 installed

Malwarebytes Protection (per machine - 1 year) - $35 installed

Installing virus protection is HIGHLY recommended on new OR upgraded machines



FAQ / DISCLAIMERS

Why not Windows 8?

The biggest reason is compatibility with peripherals.  Even if the computer itself would work well with Windows 8, your receipt printers, barcode scanners, magnetic stripe readers, etc – may not, but since Windows 7 is very mature we have a much higher degree of confidence.   It’s also considered Microsoft’s gold standard for reliability and familiarity for users – the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies utilize Windows 7 as their standard operating system.

Windows 7 will be supported by Microsoft until Jan 14th 2020 at a minimum so there’s no concerns there.

Can I run an older version of RMS with Windows 7?

Possibly.  RMS 2.0 Service Pack 4 or higher officially supports Windows 7 (version 2.0.0155 – released on 5/21/2011).  You can find the version you’re currently running by going to the Help menu then About inside Store Operations Manager.

Can my system be upgraded to the newest version of RMS at the same time?

If you renew your yearly Microsoft Maintenance Plan, yes it can.  If you’re unsure if you’re current on your Microsoft Maintenance Plan just ask or email billing@rite.us and we’ll get back to you asap.

If you are not current on your maintenance it is possible to get back to current by paying some lapsed renewal fees, etc.  billing@rite.us can quickly provide you with a quote.

You must be eligible for Microsoft RMS 2.0 or greater in order to upgrade your base OS to Windows 7.  To find out the version you’re currently using go into Store Operations Manager > Help > About.


How much system downtime will take place?

It depends on how we coordinate things.  When possible, we try to have one register operational at the time the store opens at a minimum so that you don’t have to experience any down time.  In other cases it’s not possible.  Regardless we’ll work with you on a plan to minimize the inconvenience to you and your customers.  We can be made available after normal business hours to perform these processes which may incur additional fees.


Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System

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