Microsoft developing Amazon-like shopping system, report says

File photo: General view of Microsoft Corporation headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

Amazon may be the first to offer us a highly-automated storage in the form of Amazon, but Microsoft seems to ensure it is not the only retailer to remove cashiers and the cash register from the shopping experience.

As Reuters reports, Microsoft is not looking to open his own automated supermarkets, but the company wants the behind the scenes running of the operation. With that in mind, a new software system is designed in Redmond to other retailers to provide an Amazon-Go-like experience in their own shops.

Microsoft is thought to already be at a point where it can show retailers an example of the system in action, with Walmart as one of the first to experience it. One of the biggest obstacles that must be overcome, are the costs. The profit margins at supermarkets are not exactly huge and expensive tech can easily wipe it off.

Microsoft’s solution for that is apparently an attempt to minimize the transfer of data to the cloud, instead of handling most of the data and processing on-site using what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to as a “smart edge” device. Of course, for now Microsoft has not publicly commented about any of this.

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Amazon has a big advantage in this area with an already-functioning automated storage and more to come. The company will also not have to worry about the competition because Amazon can’t easily be beaten on cost as the owner of the entire pipeline. Amazon Is running on Amazon Web Services, makes use of an Amazon app, attracts people Amazon already counts as customers, and relies on a supply network for restocking that Amazon already has in place.

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