Pentagon scraps $10bn deal with Microsoft

Photo: AP

US Defense department announced it canceled a lucrative 10 billion dollars worth cloud deal that was awarded to Microsoft by the administration of the previous President Donald Trump. The Pentagon confirmed that the framework of the JEDI cloud-computing project will be redrawn and some new players including Amazon will be included, Reuters elaborated.

The contract was lucrative not for its dollar value but for the prestige it would provide to the executioner. Microsoft and Amazon for years tried to persuade businesses and governments that it was safe to keep computing work into their data centres. Covering all security requirements of the US military would earn a valuable acknowledgement that would be valuable to attract other corporate and government clients.

Amazon which is the biggest cloud computing provider, was widely expected to win the contract. But when the Pentagon awarded the sole-source deal to Microsoft in 2019, the announcement gave "huge credibility" to Microsoft, which had been working hard to catch Amazon after a late start with cloud technology.

But the contract has been on hold after Amazon filed a lawsuit challenging the decision under then-President Donald Trump, alleging that the former president exerted improper pressure on military officials to steer the contract away from Amazon.

In April a US judge refused to dismiss Amazon's claims alleging the Trump administration interfered in the Pentagon's award to Microsoft after putting it on hold indefinitely in February 2020.The now-cancelled Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract was budgeted for as much as $10 billion and was part of a broader digital modernization of the Pentagon aimed at making it more technologically agile.

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