Microsoft: Pentagon cancels $1 billion Jedi contract - Der Spiegel

The US Department of Defense has canceled a contract worth ten billion dollars with the information technology company Microsoft, which the Internet giant Amazon also applied for. The Pentagon said that a project to build a cloud system called Jedi no longer meets the needs of the military.

“Given the changing technological environment, it has become clear that the Jedi Cloud contract, which has been long overdue, no longer meets the requirements for bridging DoD capacity gaps,” the department said. Now there should be a new bid. Amazon and Microsoft are the favourites; However, potential offers from other companies will also be taken into consideration.

Prize dispute with Amazon competitor

The Jedi project, which cost the equivalent of 8.4 billion euros, was to create a cloud system in which information from all branches of the armed forces could be exchanged in a system with artificial intelligence. The ten-year contract went to Microsoft in October 2019, although Amazon was the favourite. Amazon has a lot of experience with cloud systems. The company has already equipped other US agencies with systems, including the CIA.

Amazon took action against the Microsoft award. The company accused then-President Donald Trump’s administration of exerting influence in order to harm its “political enemy”, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

In February 2020, a federal judge ordered that a contract awarded to Microsoft be temporarily suspended. The Pentagon then requested a four-month delay to reconsider awarding the contract. In September, the Department of Defense finally announced that it would stick with Microsoft. But now the announcement was followed by the cancellation of the contract.

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