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Wal-Mart Speaks, Microsoft Listens

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We mentioned last week that Wal-Mart has requested that its top 100 suppliers start using wireless inventory tracking equipment by 2005. Coincidentally, Microsoft addressed the same issue today:

    Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday that it would develop software and services that will help retailers, manufacturers and distributors use radio tags to track and manage goods within stores and factories.

    Radio frequency identification, or RFID, technology is gaining ground as a better way to label items ranging from cereal boxes to car parts, since the low-cost tags can be tracked by remote radio receivers, unlike bar codes, which must be visible to be read by laser scanners.

    ….Microsoft said that it would work to make its desktop, server and applications software work with RFID and also develop programs specifically designed to use the new retail tagging technology. [Reuters] Someone has to make the software to make all of those tags and scanners Wal-Mart is demanding work, don’t they?

    Do you think Wal-Mart and Microsoft will ever merge?

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About Eric Olsen