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.