Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon

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Retail giant Walmart signed a deal to use Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence technology on Tuesday, deepening a strategic partnership between two of Amazon’s major rivals.

The five-year agreement is designed to leverage the full range of Microsoft’s cloud solutions in order to make shopping quicker and easier for customers, Walmart said.

The agreement pairs Amazon’s largest retail rival with its closest challenger in cloud computing. It is also the latest sign of Walmart’s willingness to double down on its e-commerce presence, while Microsoft has reportedly been working on a technology that could eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores.

“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Bentonville Arkansas-based company plans to boost its online presence and defend itself from Amazon’s rapidly growing retail ambitions.

“The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday.

Through the partnership, Walmart and Microsoft engineers will work together to migrate a significant portion of Walmart.com and samsclub.com to Microsoft’s Azure, Walmart said.

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