It had been long time since Microsoft made some serious waves in the tech industry. The drought has ended and that too, with a bang. The company is celebrating the award of a cloud computing contract valued at a whopping $10 BN. The contract awarding party is none other than the mighty Pentagon.
The contract has been awarded for a period of 10 years and will include a host of services. The main scope of the contract is upgradation and unification of the entire US Department of Defense (DoD) network into a single cloud based network.
The project has been dubbed as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). Microsoft will also offer additional services of data analysis and storing classified military secrets. The company’s coveted Office 365 suite will serve all the routine productivity needs of the DoD.
Given the high stakes of this contract, the bidding process was spread over 15 months. Key competitors included cloud industry’s heavy weights namely Amazon, Google and Oracle. E-commerce and tech giant Amazon has taken strong exception to the award of this contract to Microsoft.
Amazon contests that it was the lowest bidder for the contract. It further argues that it had higher level of security clearances as compared to Microsoft, which are typically required for government work. Amazon is otherwise an industry leader in cloud computing with an estimated market share of about 48%.
The controversy surrounding the award of this contract has further deepened with the alleged personal preference of President Trump for Microsoft. The public animosity of Trump with Amazon as a company as Jeff Bezos is its CEO is an open secret.
Some have gone to the extent of speculating that Trump himself made sure that the contract in question is not awarded to Amazon. Oracle, another tech giant has also alleged some malpractices at the Pentagon’s level concerning the award of this contract.
Amazon has vowed to challenge the award of this contract to Microsoft and also expressed the possibility of suing the Pentagon for its alleged favoritism. However, the company has to decide on any formal litigation within the next week. Whether Amazon pursues a legal course of action is yet to be seen.
Neutral analysts are not much keen on buying the whole idea of favoritism, citing the sheer scale of this contract and the lengthy process. The name of Trump in yet another controversy comes as no surprise, especially in the backdrop of his personal harsh exchanges with the Amazon CEO.