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"5 Tips For Choosing DOS POS Software"

- By Bob Twain

In the vast world of operating systems and point of sale software products there are many choices and thus many decisions to be made. Your first priority when choosing point of sale software may be your operating system. Common operating systems include Windows, UNIX, Linux, MAC, and platforms like .Net and Java.

If DOS, or Disk Operating System, is your operating system of choice, there are several factors that you should consider when choosing a point of sale software product for your retail business.

Drawbacks to DOS POS

DOS was originally released by Microsoft 1981 for IBM computers, and the latest version of MS-DOS is MS-DOS 6.22, which was released in 1994. The most recent version being more than 10 years old, DOS is an old system and will not provide you the software selection that other operating systems might offer.

DOS can be susceptible to file corruptions and errors because it often utilizes less reliable databases. That being said, if you are using a good database, DOS can be more stable than some newer Windows based systems.

Lastly, DOS doesn't allow for mouse use, which makes it difficult to train younger employees on how to use your software. It also makes it difficult to cut, paste, and copy text unless you have a custom program written specifically for the task. However, keyboard systems are much faster than mouse based operations.

Benefits of DOS

DOS is generally a fast and easy to install operating system, requiring only a keyboard for interaction. This means that once you've trained everyone on the system, transactions should process quickly.

DOS point of sale software packages can be inexpensive with point of sale software prices ranging from $500 to $3000.

DOS can be utilized without windows, this is a beneficial method because DOS is very stable, simple, easy to install, and not prone to viruses and worms. However, many retailers use Windows to run their legacy applications under a DOS task which allows them to run multiple programs at the same time.

Point of Sale Software Options

Consider setting your operating system aside for a moment and focusing on what your business point of sale software needs are. Do you need inventory control? Do you need customer tracking? Do you need a point of sale system that integrates with your current accounting software?

In essence, write up a 'wish list' of operations that you desire in your point of sale system and prioritize them. This will not only help in the decision phase of your purchase, but also in the research phase.

If necessary, consider an alternative operating system when purchasing your optimal point of sale software system. Making sure that your software package meets all your needs, or as many as possible, and will help to ensure that you don't need to upgrade your software system right away which will save you money in the long run.

Look for Industry Specific Software

While there are generic DOS based software packages out there, your investment and your business may be better served if you instead look for an industry designed software package. For example 'DAW Software' makes DOS POS Software for the Movie rental and tanning salon business. Comp-U-Floor manufactures point of sale software for the floor covering importer, distributor or retailer.

By utilizing industry specific software for your retail establishment, you may end up saving both time and money because the software tasks and applications are designed specifically for you, often eliminating the extra steps that a generic program would require.

Consider the Size of Your Company

Also know that point of sale software packages are designed for the size of your company. To know which packages are optimal for you, first determine what category or 'tier' you fall into. Retailers are categorized into tiers according to the number of employees they have and their annual sales. For more information on the retail tier system visit

By first determining your tier, you can then eliminate all DOS POS Software that does not cater specifically to your tier. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that 80% of your software product's customers are in the same tier that you are. You can find this out by simply asking your sales representative.

The real trick in finding the optimal DOS POS software package for your business is to find a searchable index of possible packages. Take heart! There are reliable sources of unbiased information readily available to you.

For more information on point of sale software and specifically DOS POS software including a searchable index of software options based on operating systems, industry size, company size and much more, visit

To Your Success!

Bob Twain

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