Microsoft logoSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Amazon has been awarded a $10 billion contract with the U.S. National Security Agency.
  • Microsoft is protesting the contract, claiming that the NSA did not conduct a proper evaluation of cloud services.
  • A decision is expected regarding Microsoft's protest by October 29, 2021.
  • This contract is entirely separate from the JEDI cloud contract that was worth up to $10 billion.

Microsoft and Amazon are yet again fighting over a $10 billion cloud contract. This is entirely separate from the drawn-out legal battle over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. This time, Amazon was awarded a $10 billion contract with the National Security Agency (NSA), and Microsoft is the one filing the complaint (via The Verge).

Washington Technology reports that the tech giants are competing for a contract codenamed "WildandStormy" that is worth up to $10 billion. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has already been awarded the contract, but Microsoft is challenging the decision with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The company claims that the NSA did not conduct a proper evaluation. Microsoft filed its protest on July 21, 2021.

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"Based on the decision we are filing an administrative protest via the Government Accountability Office. We are exercising our legal rights and will do so carefully and responsibly," said a Microsoft spokesperson to Nextgov.

A decision regarding Microsoft's protest is expected from the GOA by October 29, 2021.

The legal contest over the JEDI contract lasted from October 2019 to July 2021. The contract was eventually canceled and replaced with the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (via FedScoop), which could include deals with both Microsoft and Amazon. If the JEDI contract dispute sets a precedent regarding the length of legal battles, it could be quite some time until a final resolution is made regarding the NSA's WildandStormy contract.

Multiple recent government contracts have been awarded to multiple partners rather than a single company. Last November, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) awarded its Commercial Cloud Enterprise contract to five companies; Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.