The agreement will help both companies take on Amazon.
Walmart has been pushing aggressively to transform its digital operations in order to compete with online rivals.
And cloud computing is one of the few areas where Microsoft competes with Amazon. While it's best known as an online retailer, Amazon also has a cloud service that racked up over $5 billion in sales in the first quarter.
Announced during the Amazon Prime Day sale, the deal will see Walmart shift a significant portion of walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure, Microsoft's cloud business.
"Walmart was never going to partner with Amazon for obvious reasons and Microsoft is the second largest provider of cloud solutions in the world," said Dusan Milosavljevic, an analyst at Berenberg bank.
Walmart will also get access to artificial intelligence technology that could reduce energy consumption in its stores and machine learning expertise that would improve its delivery systems.
Last month, Walmart announced a new personal shopping service that lets customers order items via a text message with speedy delivery. It also launched new apps for back-to-school shopping.
Microsoft has been trying to convince retailers about the power of data and technology, working on everything from inventory to transport to online shopping.
It has partnered with Macy's to build a new "virtual shopping assistant" and with Mars Drinks to create smart vending machines. It's working with department store chain Marks & Spencer in the United Kingdom.
Whole Foods Market has delivered on many attributes key to millennial shoppers, yet has not established itself as their grocery store of choice. Despite investment and innovation against this key demographic, Whole Foods has yet to crack their code. Acquisition by Amazon may close the gaps needed to make Whole Foods Market millennials’ retailer of choice.
4 years, 3 months ago
Microsoft is launching a new Surface Pro today, and it’s dropping its numbering scheme as a result. While many were expecting a Surface Pro 5, Microsoft’s new tablet / laptop hybrid is simply the Surface Pro from now on.
4 years, 4 months ago
Microsoft is such a damn tease. Despite launching its last flagships, the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, in November 2015, Microsoft's not giving up on phones yet. In fact, Microsoft's future devices may not even look like phones as we know them today, according to the company's CEO.
4 years, 5 months ago
With its Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft promised that users would have the option to postpone future updates for a limited period of time and many rejoiced. But now that the update has started rolling out, it’s become apparent that there are still some stability issues and performing a manual installation isn’t recommended right now.
4 years, 5 months ago