Microsoft wins the Pentagon's long-contested JEDI cloud computing contract

(Office Snapshots)

The fight for the Pentagon's 10 year, $10 billion contract to overhaul its cloud computing systems is over, and Microsoft has won.

The bidding war, which included Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, involved months of scrutiny and interference by President Trump, who repeatedly questioned whether the winning bid should go to Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, who the president often criticizes.

The JEDI contract, which stands for joint enterprise defense infrastructure, was announced in 2018.

The contract calls for an overhaul of the Pentagon's computer systems. Microsoft will likely build and deploy an enterprise version of its Azure Cloud Computing platform, which includes basic storage infrastructure along with its bundled machine learning, image recognition and sensor-enabled ambient computing features that make up the higher end cloud computing market.

The project may cause controversy inside Microsoft, whose employees, like those at Google, have protested the idea that their work could be used in war or by the military.

Like the increasingly competitive private cloud computing market, the JEDI contract was the focus of intense competition among the the US's top cloud providers.

Amazon was long thought to be the most likely pick. Amazon Web Services is the market leader in cloud computing, and the company previously built cloud computing systems for the CIA.

"We’re surprised about this conclusion," an Amazon Web Services spokesperson told news outlets.

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