Walmart and Microsoft announced a five-year technology partnership to fight against Amazon’s influence.
At Microsoft’s Inspire conference in Las Vegas July 14-18, Walmart revealed that the two companies have sealed a strategic partnership. Based on the Cloud computing services offered by Microsoft, the agreement would allow its partner to benefit from the Azure application platform and Microsoft 365. Companies will also work on the development of new projects focused on artificial intelligence and service improvement using machine learning technology. For example, artificial intelligence solutions could help Walmart personalize its marketing campaigns according to Internet users.
Walmart is Amazon’s biggest retail competitor, while Microsoft is Amazon’s biggest rival when it comes to cloud services.
It was therefore logical that the two companies finally joined forces to try to limit the power of their common enemy.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the partnership comes at a time when Microsoft has expressed interest in designing a technology rivalling the one operated by physical Amazon Go stores. Announced in January 2018, Amazon’s first store successfully replaced staff with ambitious technologies based on artificial intelligence. Similarly, customers no longer have to wait in line because the cash registers no longer exist: now you pay with your Amazon account and mobile phone.
Microsoft, for its part, would be looking at similar technology that could operate cameras attached to shopping carts in stores. To date, the firm has already hired a computer vision specialist from Amazon. Moreover, Bill Gates’ company would be in talks with Walmart, which would certainly find its interest in this project since it would enable it to catch up with Bezos’ company.
However, this assumption was not made when the partnership was officially announced.