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Albertsons cites competition in Microsoft move – but is the retail cloud battle all it seems?

January 29, 2019 / James Bourne

The battle for retailers’ cloud dollars continues apace, with grocer Albertsons the latest organisation to pledge its allegiance to Microsoft. According to a CNBC report, Microsoft has signed a three-year deal to make Azure Albertsons’ preferred public cloud. The retailer, who owns the Safeway and Vons supermarket chains, will deploy the Microsoft 365 suite to employees as well as explore projects involving artificial intelligence, the report added. Albertsons has been active in piloting technology projects in recent months. In May, BoiseDev reported the company was ‘experimenting with Amazon Go-like technology’, while earlier this month Coinstar announced new machines where users could buy bitcoin at selected Safeway and Albertsons stores. This makes Albertsons the fourth major retailer since July to sign up with Microsoft for a strategic cloud partnership. In August, it was announced Walmart had made Microsoft its preferred cloud provider in a five-year deal, ...