LONDON Abacus Group has set up an Embedded Systems Group as a group-wide, pan-European centre of excellence to support customers in the development of embedded computing solutions based around Microsoft Embedded operating systems.
The group, which is focussed specifically on the retail, gaming, industrial automation and hospitality sectors, will work with customers in the U.K., Scandinavia, Benelux and Italy and provide a local single point of contact in their local market that unites the display and embedded computing expertise of Trident, the wireless communication technology of recently-acquired TDC and the Microsoft knowledge of Abacus Polar’s team.
Following on from Abacus’ acquisition of Deltron, the group plans to extend the model into other European markets.
The 25-strong Embedded Systems Group (ESG) team in Europe is lead by Nick Donaldson as General Manager. In the U.K., it includes a team of three Microsoft specialists operating from Abacus Polar’s offices in Leighton Buzzard, and dedicated individuals at Trident in Reigate, TDC in Basingstoke and Micromark in Maidenhead. This team is focussed on supporting U.K. customers directly, and acts as a consultancy resource to a focussed sales team in Scandinavia, Benelux and Italy.
Nick Donaldson said, “As a Group, Abacus has all the expertise customers require to energise their business with a solution involving an embedded computing platform, an operating system, a display and other peripherals and wireless communications. The Embedded Systems Group gives customers the opportunity to access all of that specialist knowledge through a single team focussed on delivering a solution that works.”
The Embedded Systems Group provides system hardware and Embedded operating systems support, including displays, processors, SBC’s, communications and system integration capabilities. Product specialists from Abacus represent Microsoft Windows Embedded, storage devices and 32bit / 64bit processors and Trident Displays’ specialists supply flat-panel displays and SBC expertise. TDC offers specialist expertise on communications technologies, with a particular emphasis on wireless.
Promax and ECC provide support on these products in the Nordic region and Italy respectively, and Trident Displays’ Benelux operation supports customers in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Abacus Group has been supplying Microsoft Windows Embedded operating systems since 1999 and the company’s relationship with Microsoft has recently been extended to cover Microsoft RMS, a retail management solution designed for independent and mid-market retailers enabling them to track inventory and track costs more efficiently. The Embedded Systems Group also provides a European series of in-depth seminars in partnership with local Microsoft Embedded specialists and works with partners to provide other added-value design services.
The group now also offers Microsoft classic desk-top operating systems, and server solutions to address the embedded market. The current Windows XP Professional desktop operating system is available with specific licensing terms and features designed to make it easier to install and maintain in an embedded environment.
Features of Microsoft Windows XP Professional Embedded from Abacus ESG include the ability to add a custom boot logo, for branding purposes and to mask the Operating System from the user. XP Professional Embedded can be installed without the need for activation. It requires no certification of the application and has no minimum volume commitment.
Donaldson, said, “We’re offering an identical product to the desktop Windows XP Professional, with more flexible licensing terms to suit embedded users. A further key aspect of our support is longer continued availability of the product, eliminating the need to upgrade the software when Microsoft updates its desktop product line. For example, we’re still able to supply customers with DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows NT Workstation and other early versions of Microsoft products.
Other features of XP Professional Embedded include the ability to create multi-lingual platforms, or change the language in the user interface. The embedded license also allows a third party company, such as a systems integrator or subcontract manufacturer, install the operating system on behalf of the license holder. Both of these procedures are prohibited under standard desktop licensing terms.
Back from left: Cesare de Siena – ESG Manager Italy, Mladen Reich – ESG Manager Nordic, Jeroen Baerents – ESG Manager Benelux; second row: Richard Parris, Microsoft Embedded Business Development Manager; Natalie Green, Microsoft Embedded Internal Sales and Marketing Support; seated: Nick Donaldson, General Manager.