In acquiring Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, Amazon isn't only buying a large upscale grocery store chain. It's also taking ownership of a company that uses Microsoft's rival cloud-computing technology.
While Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a big lead in the cloud infrastructure market, Microsoft is investing heavily to catch up. Whole Foods deployed Microsoft's Azure Active Directory software to let its 91,000 employees easily sign into cloud-based applications, according to a case study on Microsoft's website.
Whole Foods also pays for Office 365 subscriptions, which provide access to cloud services like OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business.
Here's what Will Lamb, the infrastructure coordinator in Whole Foods' IT department, said in the case study:
"We have a goal to reach 1,200 stores in the near future, and anything we can do from a strategic perspective to maximize efficiency is worth its weight in gold in retail."