Microsoft flips the script on Amazon with sustained protest against NSA cloud contract

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • In 2021, Microsoft's JEDI cloud contract with the U.S. government died.
  • A contributing factor to JEDI's demise may have been Amazon's extensive legal efforts protesting the contract's awarding procedure.
  • Now, Microsoft is reversing the situation by protesting an Amazon cloud contract awarded by the NSA.
  • The tech giant's protest has been sustained.

For those of you who keep up on Microsoft's Azure activities, you know its cloud contracts are a big deal for the company. As such, when Microsoft's Pentagon-awarded JEDI cloud contract got dissolved, it was a less-than-ideal situation for the company. Doubly so as, based on the timing of JEDI's termination, the decision seemed to have come in part due to Amazon's lengthy legal battle with the U.S. government over the deal's awarding procedure and potential Trump administration interference.

Now, Microsoft's pulling something of an Uno reverse card with a complaint about the NSA awarding a cloud contract to Amazon. Not only that, but the protest has been officially sustained by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Here's an excerpt from the GAO statement:

On October 29, 2021, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained the protest filed by the Microsoft Corporation, of Redmond, Washington. Microsoft challenged the award of a contract to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), of Seattle, Washington under solicitation No. H98230-20-R-0225. The solicitation was issued by the National Security Agency (NSA) for cloud services in support of that agency's classified and unclassified computing requirements (NSA procurement name WILDANDSTORMY, or WandS). GAO found certain aspects of the agency's evaluation to be unreasonable and, in light thereof, recommended that NSA reevaluate the proposals consistent with the decision and make a new source selection determination.

There's no telling how long of an ordeal could materialize from Microsoft's protest. For reference, the JEDI battle lasted roughly two years.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to