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Microsoft Azure defeats Amazon Web Services to win $10 billion Pentagon JEDI contract

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Microsoft has been awarded a $10 billion contract with the United States Department of Defence, shockingly defeating Amazon which many expected would win the contract. 

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract was hotly contested by many of the largest cloud providers, who were all eager to provide the Pentagon with not only cloud storage, but a fully scaled, enterprise level, commercial Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). 

Oracle and IBM competed in earlier rounds of the competition, although were knocked out leaving just Microsoft and Amazon fighting for the $10 billion contract. Many believed that Amazon’s dominance in the cloud space would see it nab the contract, but the Pentagon shockingly announced Microsoft as the winner last week. 

Microsoft will now provide the US government with all the cloud tools it needs to modernise its defence infrastructure. In a statement, DOD chief information officer Dana Deasy noted, “The National Defense Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernised technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform.

“The DOD Digital Modernization Strategy was created to support this imperative. This award is an important step in the execution of the Digital Modernization Strategy.”

The contest for the JEDI contract has been fierce, with Oracle even attempting a legal challenge the decision to eliminate the company from the running back in April. The judge ruled against Oracle in that case, leaving us with just Microsoft and Amazon vying for top spot. 

Amazon is, of course, disappointed, but the company is already the clear leader in the cloud space and it shows no sign of slowing down. Revenue for Amazon Web Services in Q3 2019 grew 35%, although that was lower than growth for Microsoft’s Azure, which enjoyed 59% revenue growth. 

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