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Microsoft to launch till-free shops

(Image credit: Image Credit: Pressmaster / Shutterstock)

Microsoft is reportedly planning a major retail move with the development of staff-free stores.

A report from Reuters claims that the Windows 10 maker is developing technology that would eliminate both tills and cashiers from high-street shops.

They would instead be replaced by a new system that would track what items shoppers add to their baskets when visiting a store, then charge them when they leave.

Such a move would put Microsoft into direct competition with Amazon's Go stores. These use cameras and sensors track what items are being removed from shelves, creating a shopping list for the consumer, which is then charged to their registered card and account.

Following four years of secret development, the first Amazon Go store opened in Seattle in January, selling groceries to registered users. Further openings are now set for San Francisco and Chicago later this year.

Microsoft has refused to comment on the news, but Reuters says the company has already demonstrated the technology to several major retailers in order to try and sign up initial customers.

It already has a primitive form of the technology on show at its Retail Experience Centre at Microsoft HQ in Redmond.

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.