US Department of Defense cancels Microsoft project


 

In the United States, one of the government agencies with billions of dollars in the budget is the Department of Defense (DOD). In recent years the institution has allocated much of its money to technology and, as part of this, in 2019 it announced that Microsoft had won a contract for the development of a project related to cloud computing. However, he has now announced that it will be canceled.


The project, known as JEDI, was valued at $ 10 billion. But the department decided that the program's design "no longer meets its needs due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversion, and industry advancements," according to a press release from the Department of Defense.


"With the changing technology environment, it has become clear that JEDI's long-delayed cloud contract no longer meets the requirements to fill the Department of Defense capacity gaps. JEDI was developed at a time when that the department's needs were different and both the technology and our conversion to the cloud were less mature, "said the acting director of information for the Department of Defense, John Sherman, as part of the statement.


The contract that Microsoft had won would allow the company to provide, for 10 years, cloud services for data storage, as well as artificial intelligence tasks and other computing requirements.


Microsoft responded to the decision in a blog post. "Because the security of the United States through the provision of critical technology updates is more important than any individual contract, we respect and accept the decision of the Department of Defense to move forward in a different path." The publication also says that Microsoft is "ready to support the Department of Defense as they work on their next steps and their new cloud computing application plans."


It is worth noting that the US department does not plan to give up its cloud project, it only decided to replace it with another cloud infrastructure contract for which it plans to solicit offers from Microsoft and Amazon.


Recall that Amazon filed a lawsuit for losing the original contract alleging that former President Donald Trump's animosity against them had unduly influenced the decision. The lawsuit put JEDI on hiatus, and this spring, a judge allowed the case to proceed to trial.


In fact, after the announcement that Microsoft will not be able to continue with the project under the conditions that had been agreed, an Amazon spokesperson told The Verge: "We understand and agree with the decision of the department. Unfortunately, the award of the contract was not based on the merits of the proposals but was the result of outside influence that has no place in public procurement. Our commitment to supporting our nation's armed forces and ensuring that our fighters and defense partners have access to the best technology at the best price is stronger than ever. We look forward to continuing to support the Department of Defense's modernization efforts and creating solutions that help achieve its critical missions. "


For its part, in a blog post, Microsoft criticized Amazon for delaying the project. "The DOD faced a difficult decision: continue with what could be a litigation battle of years or find another way forward" and even said that this situation highlights the need for lawmakers to analyze the impeachment process. "The 20 months since the DOD selected Microsoft as its JEDI partner highlight issues that deserve the attention of lawmakers: When a company can delay critical technology updates for our nation's defenders for years, the protest process needs reform, "he said.


Finally, according to CNBC, the Department of Defense will launch a new tender and considers that Amazon and Microsoft are the only companies capable of providing the necessary infrastructure, although it said it will conduct market research to see if other competitors could meet the requirements. requirements.

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