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Oscar Williams

News editor

Microsoft and Walmart join forces to take on Amazon on two fronts

Two of Amazon’s biggest rivals, Microsoft and Walmart, are joining forces to take on the e-commerce giant in the sectors it leads: online shopping and cloud computing.

Through a five-year partnership, Microsoft will work with Walmart on a “broad set of cloud innovation projects” aimed at “making shopping faster and easier for millions of customers”.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the two firms’ rivalry with Amazon was “absolutely core” to the partnership. Amazon Web Services is currently the world’s most popular cloud provider, followed by Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft’s statement doesn’t provide much detail on the nature of the partnership, but it reveals that it ranges from migrating walmart.com on to Azure, to finding ways to slash Walmart’s energy bill.

“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. “Walmart is a people led, tech empowered company, and we’re excited about what this technology partnership will bring for our customers and associates.”

Reuters reported last month that Microsoft is developing technology that will replace cashiers and check out tills in supermarkets, pitting it directly against the Amazon Go supermarket format. Microsoft did not comment on the story.