By Chloe Aiello
As Microsoft kicks off Build, its annual developers' conference, the tech giant is taking the opportunity to underscore the power of its cloud, as it ramps up its fight for market share against Amazon's AWS.
"Our point of view from Microsoft is that the great technology innovations, they're happening at companies like Starbucks, like Walmart, like BMW, Kroger ー the companies that are here with us this week. And it's about how we enable their success and their technology innovation that changes all of our lives," said Julia White, corporate vice president of Microsoft ($MSFT) Azure.
Key customers like Starbucks and Walmart are evidence of Microsoft's growing prowess in the cloud space. Amazon's ($AMZN) cloud service AWS still lays claim to the largest market share among cloud providers, but Azure is quickly closing the gap, followed by Alphabet's ($GOOGL) Google Cloud, according to RightScale's State of the Cloud Report.
"Our cloud platform growing at 76 percent quarter-over-quarter, so doing really well in that market. And fundamentally it's about how we engage with our customers, and it's about enabling their success," White said.
On display at Build are, among other things, Starbucks' Azure Blockchain-based bean-to-cup tracking program, and the digital shelves Kroger rolled out last year to help with inventory and customer experience.
"At some level every industry is undergoing a digital transformation," White said. "We are experts in our technology, and cyber security, and new innovation, and they are experts in their business processes. And it's really that partnership and the way we engage with them where we bring the best of the both of us together to create new ideas, new experiences."
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