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Microsoft and Walmart team up to take on Amazon's cloud and retail business

Walmart turns to Microsoft for help with cloud technologies. (Source: The Financial Express)
Walmart turns to Microsoft for help with cloud technologies. (Source: The Financial Express)
Walmart has chosen Microsoft as its cloud services provider to improve the former's forecasting, purchasing, and data sharing abilities. While both the companies clearly share a rivalry with Amazon, this 5 year deal helps Walmart increase its market share in the US and also streamline its delivery system.
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Microsoft and Walmart have entered into a five year-long partnership that helps the latter to fully capitalize on the former's cloud and enterprise expertise. The deal gives Walmart access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, Microsoft 365, and artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to help drive sales and innovation. The deal is being seen as a huge shot in the arm for both Walmart and Microsoft who would like to snatch a sizeable chunk of Amazon's market share in both cloud and retail. 

Walmart will be equipping all its branches with Microsoft 365 services in a phased manner. These include Microsoft Workspace Analytics, Microsoft Stream, and Microsoft OneDrive alongside Office 365 and Azure. Microsoft will be deploying dedicated engineers to Walmart who will assist in transitioning existing applications to the cloud. Azure's AI and ML capabiltiies will also help Walmart in building a global IoT platform that can reduce energy consumptions and intelligently route trucks in the supply chain.

The deal, however, did not specify anything about Walmart's cashier-free stores. Amazon has a lead in this segment with its flagship Amazon Go store in Seattle that enables easy shopping minus the queues. Microsoft is reportedly investing in this technology to offer a better version that can be implemented by any retailer and Walmart was one of the first choices for test driving it. Although there's been no further news about that, it is still possible that Microsoft's tech will somehow power Walmart's cashier-less implementation.

Microsoft would be nothing short of delighted to welcome Walmart as its partner. The company's Azure services are still behind Amazon's AWS in market share despite Azure growing 56% in Q2 2017. In fact, speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the shared rivalry of Walmart and Microsoft with Amazon is 'absolutely core to this [deal]'.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1353 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 07 > Microsoft and Walmart team up to take on Amazon's cloud and retail business
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-07-18 (Update: 2018-07-18)