Microsoft edges Amazon to land Pentagon’s $10b cloud computing contract

Microsoft has won the $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract, edging out rival Amazon, Pentagon announced on Friday.

“The JEDI Cloud contract will provide enterprise level, commercial Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to support Department of Defense business and mission operations,” the Defense Department said its description of the contract.

The project is scheduled to be completed in October 2029.

The entire contracting process, which involved bids from companies like Google, Oracle and IBM, was steeped in controversy over the past few months.

First, Google dropped out of the race after employees petitioned against the contract, raising concerns over the ethics of supplying its technology to the military.

That theory was reportedly similar to one created by Oracle’s executive vice president, Ken Glueck, along with one of the company’s Washington lobbyists. Oracle had also raised similar concerns in a December lawsuit against the Defense Department, claiming that the Pentagon’s requirements for the contract were created in a way that favored Amazon, making it easier for the e-commerce and cloud-computing giant to win the bidding process.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill also got involved in the process in recent weeks, sending letters to the president requesting for the contract to be delayed until officials could examine the awards process.

“This contract has already been delayed a year for investigations and court filings,” two Republicans wrote in one letter. “Further delays make DOD fall behind and DOD needs this technology now. The cloud makes the military a more lethal, agile and innovative force.”

One letter, from 12 House Republicans, was dated the same day Mark Esper assumed his role as secretary of defense.

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