Amazon’s Response to a $10B Pentagon Contract Given to Microsoft is awaited by the industry. This week’s cloud wars took a new twist, one that was steeped in political implications. Microsoft’s Azure was selected over Amazon Web Services (AWS), for a large Pentagon contract. The U.S. Department of Defense announced last Friday a 10-year JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud) contract that could be worth $10 billion for Microsoft. The announcement stated that the JEDI Cloud contract would provide an enterprise-level, commercial Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service (PaaS), to support Department of Defense operations and business. The award caused a lot of controversy in tech and political circles, as AWS is by all accounts the dominant cloud platform in IT. Amazon stated in a statement that AWS is the clear leader of cloud computing and that a detailed evaluation based on only the comparative offerings clearly leads to a different conclusion. “We are committed to continuing to innovate in the new digital battlefield, where security, efficiency and scalability can make the difference between success or failure.” The political implications of tech debates aside, they are more important when you consider previous attacks by President Donald Trump on Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, and his Washington Post newspaper. Trump has repeatedly attacked Bezos for writing articles that he considered unfair or biased. Trump has repeatedly called the Post, and other media, “the enemy of people” while under threat of impeachment. CNBC reported that Trump told James Mattis, the former Secretary of Defense, to “screw Amazon” from the contract. Many media outlets have been following the controversy closely. Some are expecting Amazon to counter-move. The Next Web, for instance, wrote this week that Amazon would not cite Trump’s personal beef with Bezos during its legal dispute. It would have to go through a long line to accuse him of another conflict of interests. Smart money predicts that Amazon will argue that AWS is uniquely suited for supporting the government’s needs. Although it won’t force the Pentagon into a backseat, the scandal surrounding the involvement of the president may make the whole thing a political circus. This could work in Amazon’s favour. Here’s a list of other coverage that speculates on Amazon’s future actions:

  • Bloomberg: Amazon Seen focusing on Trump in the Pentagon Contract Challenge
  • Amazon poised to intensify Pentagon ‘war cloud fight’: The Hill
  • Amazon could challenge the loss of a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract as soon as next week: Reuters
  • Fox Business: Amazon may seek a cloud rematch with Microsoft or the Pentagon
  • Amazon could focus its attention on Trump in the challenge to the Pentagon’s award of JEDI cloud contracts to Microsoft: Seattle Times
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