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The Pentagon cancels a $ 10 billion cloud contract awarded to Microsoft

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The Pentagon has canceled the $ 10 billion Jedi cloud computing contract that was signed. rewarded to Microsoft, drawing a line under a disputed government bidding process that was uncovered by interference claims by Donald Trump.

The U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday that it has changed its decision to transfer a large portion of its data and communications to a single company and that it will begin a new acquisition process.

The decision could end the long-running legal dispute sparked by the 2019 decision to award the so-called joint venture defense infrastructure contract to Microsoft alone.

Amazon accused Trump, who was president at the time, of putting pressure on the Pentagon to award the contract to his rival because of his animus toward its founder Jeff Bezos.

John Sherman, the current Pentagon chief information officer, said: “The department has determined that, due to evolving needs, increased cloud conversation and industry advances, the Jedi Cloud contract will not be responds more to their needs ”.

The department said it will instead look for proposals for a new one cloud computing contracted by Microsoft and Amazon, though he said he will continue to do market research to see if any other companies might also be able to meet their requirements.

Toni Townes-Whitley, president of Microsoft for the U.S. regulated industry, said in a statement blog post: “We respect and accept [the] DoD’s decision to move in a different direction to ensure mission-critical technology. ”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

The Jedi contract was to be the center of the U.S. military’s push to move much of its IT operations away from physical services and into the cloud.

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But the process has been full of controversy and plagued by delays. It was halted in 2019 when Oracle, one of the original bidders, appealed against the decision to put only Microsoft and Amazon on the shortlist.

He was then subjected to a last-minute review by Mark Esper, the former secretary of defense, after Trump complained that “big companies” were opposed to the lawsuit.

When the Trump administration finally made the decision to award the contract to Microsoft, it sparked an immediate legal appeal from Amazon, which accused the administration of handling a preliminary lawsuit.

Trump had often clashed with Bezos, often accusing the Washington Post, which Bezos has, of attacking him unfairly.

Amazon filed its appeal in 2019, but Microsoft said Tuesday that it expects the legal process to stall for another year.

Microsoft has also called for system reform that will allow companies to protest government procurement decisions, accusing Amazon of “delaying.”[ing], for years, critical technological upgrades for those defending our nation. ”

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