Microsoft is Protesting a New Amazon NSA Contract Win. Of Course It Is

Posted on August 13, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft with 24 Comments


Image credit: NSA, public domain

This week, Amazon was awarded a $10 billion National Security Agency (NSA) cloud contract. And Microsoft is contesting it. Because of course it is.

After all, Amazon fought, and fought, and fought when Microsoft was awarded a Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract that was also worth $10 billion. And Amazon, in a crazy twist, actually got that contract overturned, despite the Pentagon affirmingtwice—that it would stick with Microsoft.

News of Amazon’s $10 billion contract with the secretive NSA was first reported by Nextgov. Apparently, the contract is codenamed “WildAndStormy,” and it’s the second multi-billion-dollar cloud contract the agency has awarded in the past year. The first was something called Commercial Cloud Enterprise, or C2E, which was awarded to five companies: Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

But WildAndStormy was awarded only to Amazon. And so Microsoft is contesting the win after being notified by the Government Accountability Office that it had gone to Amazon AWS.

“Based on the decision, we are filing an administrative protest via the Government Accountability Office,” a Microsoft statement explains. “We are exercising our legal rights and will do so carefully and responsibly.”

The NSA confirmed the award and Microsoft’s complaint, but without naming names. So secretive!

“NSA recently awarded a contract for cloud computing services to support the Agency,” an NSA statement reads. “The unsuccessful offeror has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The Agency will respond to the protest in accordance with appropriate federal regulations.”

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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Microsoft is Protesting a New Amazon NSA Contract Win. Of Course It Is”

  1. navarac

    So childish really, like a load of squabbling siblings!

  2. ebraiter

    You think we'd be still talking about this contract if Trump wasn't so biased with his "anybody but Bezos/Amazon" attitude? Probably. But it would of been one less thing to complain about.

    • lvthunder

      Bezos was going after Trump every day he was in office. I don't think there was a single day where the Washington Post didn't publish something negative about Trump. Even if what they wrote was false. They didn't care.

      • codymesh

        so what? the president - any president - shouldn't be such a pussy about negative press

      • MikeCerm

        Bezos doesn't really have editorial control of the Washington Post. Dude's worth $200-billion dollars, you think he's going to waste time editing a newspaper? The Washington Post published negative stories about Trump everyday because there literally wasn't a single day of his presidency that he wasn't beset by scandals, gaffs, resignations, and general incompetence. Trump set the tone. On day one, his first act as president, he sent Sean Spicer out to lie about the crowd size at the poorly attended inauguration, and it was downhill from there. What were they supposed to do, NOT write about the genuinely bizarre, always bad things the twice-impeached president was doing?

        • Greg Green

          Democrats set the tone back with Reagan and it’s been downhill ever since. The dnc accused WBush of wanting to push the elderly of cliffs to save social security money. Trump merely fought like democrats do and the democrats were horrified.

        • bettyblue

          Bezos has complete control over the Post. They were bankrupt, going under and he bought them because they pushed his political views. None of this is a secret. I am pretty sure they run at a loss.

          • MikeCerm

            That's your opinion, but the fact is that Bezos has no day-to-day involvement with editorial decisions. and never has. Those decisions are made by the executive editor Sally Buzbee (previously Marty Baron), and CEO Fred Ryan handles the business stuff. Since they're privately owned, you have no idea if they're profitable or not. What has been publicly reported is that they've been profitable since Bezos took over and profits were growing through 2018. Not much has been reported about their finances lately, but one assumes that the non-stop scandals of the Trump administration, including the worldwide pandemic, two impeachments, a failed insurrection, and the transition to a new administration are all newsworthy events that have likely helped them remain profitable since 2018.

            • Greg Green

              Yes, the non stop scandals that the dnc made up, the Post printed, and dem voters believed.

              like colluding with Russians to influence an election? But it was the dnc and Hilary’s and Obama’s campaigns that did that.

              like colluding with Ukraine to influence an election? It was the dnc that did that.

              like demanding quid pro quo with Ukraine? It was Biden that boasted about doing that.

              like approving Putin’s pipeline? It was Biden that did that.

              like lying to the fisa courts? It was Comey that did that.

              like his kids making money of daddy in the White House? It was Hunter Biden that did that, again and again and again and again…

              like all that p—-y grabbing? Seems it was Gov Cuomo doing all that.


              how many of those do you still believe Trump did?

  3. wp7mango

    Didn't Amazon just get fined for GDPR breaches?

  4. ronh

    Everyone wants a piece of the pie.


  5. codymesh

    like I commented previously, the precedent was set when amazon got the previous tender halted. Now Microsoft can absolutely do it too (or at least, attempt)

  6. jdjan

    If nothing else, the reversal following a protest by Amazon shows that it is absolutely worth filing the protest . We should expect to see every lost bid protested moving forward, other the sales team is not doing their job.

  7. bettyblue

    This is all politics at the end of the day. The US government is seriously corrupt. Life long politicians and their constant pursuit of money to get reelected are poisoned by big corporation money for political favors. Political BS has penetrated all parts of life. I can't even read a game review without someone political crap being mentioned.

    • cnc123

      I don't fully disagree, but I'm not sure any lifelong politicians (I assume we're talking about House and Senate members and possibly Supreme Court justices here) were involved in the decision to award NSA contracts, and the presidential administration has of course changed over the last year.

      • lvthunder

        The president appoints the heads of those agencies and who doesn't like to please their boss.

        • james.h.robinson

          I don't think most people at the upper levels of the NSA really answer the President. Firing a civil servant is harder than it sounds.

          • Greg Green

            At the higher level they’re political appointees and can be fired on a whim, then there’s the special executives that have little union protection but usually can’t be fired, they have to be reassigned to Guam or Iceland to get rid of them. Then there’s the regular riff raff that have union protections.

    • navarac

      I was going to say something about the US Government, but as a non-US citizen, I thought it would be a bit cheeky, or even offensive. Hey Ho.

  8. ghostrider

    Let's be clear - this isn't about what's right and best for the US, or to do with morals or offering the best service. It's not about security either, this is a political issue with the root issue about who will get given the money to do this. It's ALWAYS about the money, and that's one of the reasons that the world is in such a bad place right now. It doesn't matter how bad things get, who dies or who fights wars, it's always the money. Such sad times we live in.

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