Microsoft and Walmart Tag Team Against Amazon

Jonathan Weiss /

Microsoft and Walmart, Amazon's biggest foes in cloud services and retail, announced a partnership to take on the everything store. At Microsoft's Inspire conference for partners, Walmart unveiled a five-year deal that will see the retailer use Microsoft 365 and Azure services, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the Journal that the competition with Amazon is "core" to the companies' team-up.

Additionally, Reuters reports that Microsoft has its own technology similar to that of Amazon Go, which eliminates the need for cashiers (and, by extension, checkout lines) from stores. According to that story, Microsoft has had talks with Walmart about collaborating, which could create Walmart stores in the vein of Amazon Go and let the companies take on Amazon at the retail level.

Amazon has a Go store in Seattle that uses camera arrays, sensors and algorithms to figure out which items you've removed from store shelves and charges you the appropriate amount for them. Microsoft is reportedly putting those cameras on shopping carts to achieve a similar effect.

The collaboration makes sense, as it allows Microsoft to stretch its legs in cloud services and machine learning, while Walmart can prepare for the next generation of brick and mortar stores.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • Jake Hall
  • velocityg4
    I can't see those shopping cart cameras working right.
    - People would figure out how to trick the camera.
    - Sometimes people would remove an item from their cart before leaving then get charged (class action lawsuits)
    - How will it deal with food stamps or split payments?
    - Even with people involved produce rarely scans right. I can only imagine how the cart would behave.
  • Non-Euclidean
    I dont know who to root for:

    Evil and Arrogant vs Arrogant and Evil
  • littlestephen0
    Bad plus bad fighting bad equals what ??? Microsoft is a leach paralysing O/S 's Walmart is a bloody fire hazard. I went through a Walmart in Kunming China and I had to go thru every part of the store just to find a way out. Amazon - makes me want to stick my hand in my throat and pukorama. Always cheaper elsewhere. Now google has become another god. eff them all
  • mihen
    You can actually quickly read an entire shopping cart of goods when exiting a store. Those anti-theft pillars they have read magnetic strips on goods and set off an alarm if that item was not run over the scanner at the counter. Altering this technology to read from a database and charge the person exiting the store is not too difficult. However, some degree of control needs to be in place to prevent misreading's and injury.