Microsoft has won the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing contract, the Defense Department said on Friday, beating out favorite Amazon, Reuters reports.
The contracting process had long been mired in conflict of interest allegations, even drawing the attention of President Donald Trump, who has publicly taken swipes at Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. Trump in August said his administration was reviewing Amazon’s bid after complaints from other companies.
The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract is part of a broader digital modernization of the Pentagon meant to make it more technologically agile. Specifically, a goal of JEDI is to give the military better access to data and the cloud from battlefields and other remote locations.
Oracle had expressed concerns about the award process for the contract, including the role of a former Amazon employee who worked on the project at the Defense Department but recused himself, then later left the Defense Department and returned to Amazon Web Services.
In a statement, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) spokesman said the company was “surprised about this conclusion.”
The company said that a “detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings” would “clearly lead to a different conclusion,” according to the statement.
AWS is considering options for protesting the award, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. Although the Pentagon boasts the world’s most potent fighting force, its information technology remains woefully inadequate, according to many officials.