The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it will move forward with Microsoft as the winner of its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.
“The Department has completed its comprehensive re-evaluation of the JEDI Cloud proposals and determined that Microsoft’s proposal continues to represent the best value to the Government,” a Pentagon statement reads. “The JEDI Cloud contract is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract that will make a full range of cloud computing services available to the DoD. While contract performance will not begin immediately due to the Preliminary Injunction Order issued by the Court of Federal Claims on February 13, 2020, DoD is eager to begin delivering this capability to our men and women in uniform.”
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The DOD awarded Microsoft with the JEDI contract in October 2019, outraging Amazon, which was widely understood to be the front-runner, and its co-founder Jeff Bezos, who feels that he and his company are being targeted for political reasons.
Thanks to a formal complaint from Amazon, the Department of Defense (DOD) reviewed the contract award and found in April that it was correct. But Microsoft revealed in May that Amazon had continued fighting the defeat, leading to a somewhat unhinged outburst from Amazon in the form of a lengthy public statement.
Microsoft was originally set to begin working on the JEDI project in February, but that was halted by a federal judge who ruled that the DoD had likely evaluated one of Microsoft’s storage offerings incorrectly. Amazon had argued that had this part of the contract been correctly evaluated, it would have won the contract. But today’s announcement indicates that while the DoD agrees it made a mistake, it wasn’t enough to impact the outcome.
And no, it’s not over yet: Amazon can continue contesting the contract, and most likely will.