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February 17, 2020

US judge orders temporary halt on Microsoft’s contract with US DoD

A US judge has ordered a temporary halt on Microsoft's work on a $10bn military Cloud contract awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) last year.

A US judge has ordered a temporary halt on Microsoft’s work on a $10bn military Cloud contract awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) last year.

Known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), the Cloud-based project will store and process large amounts of classified data and is aimed at improving communication between the Pentagon and soldiers on the battlefield.

Furthermore, JEDI will make use of artificial intelligence (AI) to speed up its planning and combat capabilities.

US Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith ordered the US to halt activities related to JEDI that are aimed at making the US DoD technologically agile.

The latest development is a win for Amazon, which filed a lawsuit in November last year protesting the DoD’s decision to award a Cloud computing contract to rival bidder Microsoft.

At that time, Reuters quoted a spokesman for Amazon Web Services as saying that the complaint and supplemental motion for discovery were filed in the US Court of Federal Claims.

In its lawsuit, the company alleged that President Donald Trump’s bias against the company blocked its chances to win the contract.

Microsoft said it believes that the company will ultimately be allowed to go ahead with the project.

Amazon and Microsoft competed for the Pentagon contract in July last year.

Microsoft defeated Amazon and secured the firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity JEDI Cloud contract from the DoD in October last year.

The JEDI Cloud contract will provide enterprise-level, commercial infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to support the DoD’s business and mission operations.

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