Kroger is teaming up with Microsoft to test the use of Azure computing services to power internet-connected store shelves. The grocery chain is launching pilot projects in two of its stores, the companies announced. Microsoft is trying to establish itself as the go-to cloud provider for retailers that don’t want to do business with Amazon. Microsoft announced a similar partnership with Walmart in July which included a five-year agreement to use its cloud services and productivity apps.
Microsoft seems to be gaining the upper hand on Google Cloud in competing for retailers’ cloud business. But since Microsoft typically doesn’t disclose how much money is changing hands in these deals, it’s not clear if they are meaningful contributors to its business or marketing vehicles designed to show that it’s gaining ground with retailers.