Why Microsoft Was Chosen By The Pentagon

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The Headline

Pentagon chooses Microsoft (not Amazon) for JEDI project

The Grind

The Pentagon has awarded Microsoft a $10 billion cloud-computing contract following a lengthy bidding war that Amazon was expected to win.

The deal is a game-changer for Microsoft, which for the next decade will be a huge recipient of government funding.

The Details

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is a 10-year renovation that aims to make the DoD more technologically savvy.

Under the contract, Microsoft will replace outdated computer networks with a single cloud system, provide AI-based analysis, and host sensitive military data.

Officials hope the new set-up will give active military improved access to data from any location, but critics worry about the implications of using AI and augmented reality to enhance battlefield effectiveness.

The Pentagon’s decision follows complaints from GOP lawmakers and President Trump, who questioned whether the bidding process was fair. In July, Trump spoke of “tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and Amazon.”

The other contenders – Oracle and IBM – claimed the process was unfair and took their complaints to court.

In August, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon would reexamine the project before choosing a winner. Esper removed himself from the project days before the winner was announced.

There’s also a chance the Pentagon’s decision is linked to President Trump’s hatred of The Washington Post (which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos).

In his new book Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, retired Navy commander Guy Snodgrass claims Trump asked the Pentagon to “screw Amazon” by choosing another company for the JEDI contract.

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