Android lands on Microsoft’s money-machine island fortress

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by | April 17, 2015

Banks have a new option for finally unhitching from Windows XP on tens of thousands of ATMs – Google’s Android.

NCR, the country’s largest supplier of cash machines, was today due to unveil a Linux-powered cash-machine running Google’s smartphone operating system. Called Kalpana*, NCR has developed a secure, customised version of Android KitKat 4.4.4 with chip giant Intel.

Gone are phone staples such as notifications, keyboard and camera; in come improved security with a secure boot-loader used to validate the kernel and operating system and prevent hackers booting code not signed by NCR. NCR is also introducing a thin architecture for building ATM apps that potentially makes cash machines easier and cheaper to maintain.

The result is a skinnny Kalpana client of 256MB, versus gigabytes needed for ATM’s stuffed with Windows XP and – increasingly – Windows 7. Kalpana apps are Webbified; built using HTML rather than using Microsoft-friendly tools and language. They are served to a WebKit-based UI from a back-end in a bank’s data centre, constructed using the Spring Framework and RESTful APIs.



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