Home Depot upgrades point-of-sale systems

The Home Depot Inc. last week announced a 12-month rollout of new point-of-sale terminals and self-checkout stations that employ technology from NCR Corp., Microsoft Corp. and 360 Commerce Inc.

Plans call for the Atlanta-based home improvement retailer to upgrade the manned checkout stations in all of its 1,489 stores and install self-checkout systems in 800 stores during the next year.

Home Depot has been piloting self-checkout stations in major markets in eight states. Three hundred of the company's high-volume stores are each due to get four of the stations by year's end, with another 500 stores to follow next year.

Home Depot will use NCR hardware and a modular, Java-based point-of-sale application that's built on top of a framework from 360 Commerce, company IT officials said.

Going Mainstream

Jill Taylor, a director of engineering, said Home Depot considered Linux but settled on the "more mainstream" Windows operating system. She said that with Linux, the company would have faced issues such as a lack of drivers and support if it decided to use cross-platform hardware.

In October, the company announced that it will also be installing 40,000 desktop computers from Hewlett-Packard Co. Those PCs will replace about 30% of the company's old Unix-based ASCII terminals, according to Barbara Sanders, vice president of engineering and architecture at Home Depot.

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