If you've heard of tech news, you've probably heard of the good $10 billion Department of Defense contract. The deal was originally awarded to Microsoft in 2019, but through a series of challenges, Amazon was able to block a much-needed defense contract from competitors.
If the contract is signed, Microsoft will assist the Department of Defense in developing cloud computing technology. More specifically, the defense establishment wanted to replace the existing computer infrastructure with a cloud-based alternative. Although the Department of Defense claimed that the process for selecting the recipient of its contract was entirely fair and based solely on the merits of each applicant company, Amazon was convinced that there was something else: the involvement of former President Donald Trump.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, Amazon was able to suspend the contract for a long time to reduce the victory of competitors in 2019. As of yesterday, the Department of Defense has officially canceled and withdrawn the contract from Microsoft, and will no longer look for a private company to fulfill its terms. Oddly enough, the Department of Defense did not mention Amazon's challenges in general. We can't say it's really or just trying to save face.
However, Amazon and Microsoft have released statements about the Defense Department's decision. Microsoft is relatively long and is an entire blog post that you can read here. The following section summarizes the company well, but:
We understand and support the logic of the Department of Defense and any military individual who needs 21-year-old JEDI technology for the mission we are doing. The Department of Defense faced a difficult choice: continue to do things that could be a multi-year lawsuit or find another way forward. The security of the United States is more important than any single contract, and we know Microsoft will do well if it does well in the country.
On the other hand, Amazon said:
We understand and agree with the DoD's decision. Unfortunately, the award was not based on the merits of the bidding, but rather the result of foreign influence that had no place in government procurement. Our commitment to supporting our country's military and ensuring our fighters and defense partners have access to the best technology at the best price is stronger than ever. We look forward to supporting the MOD's modernization efforts and building solutions that will help them accomplish their important missions.
Not all is lost to the warring tech giants. In lieu of a JEDI contract, the Department of Defense is planning to submit proposals for a new "Joint Cloud Warfare" contract (we're not sure how much that will cost). The Pentagon is currently studying Amazon and Microsoft, but will conduct market research to see if other companies are able to control the workload. p>
DoD ends $10 billion JEDI deal, leaving Microsoft and Amazon empty-handed