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Microsoft Beats Amazon to win $10bn Pentagon Cloud Contract

It's a key contract for Microsoft as the company battles Amazon for cloud dominance, reports The Verge

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FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

In a shocker to Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), the US government has awarded the much-anticipated $10 billion Cloud contract for Pentagon to Microsoft.

Known as the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI), the Cloud contract will provide enterprise level, commercial Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to support Department of Defence business and mission operations, the Department of Defence said in a statement late Friday.

“Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington, has been awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of $10,000,000,000 over a period of 10 years, if all options are exercised,” the statement added.A

The expected completion date of the project is October 24, 2029.

The Pentagon selected Microsoft and AWS, cloud computing arm of Amazon, as two finalists for its $10 billion cloud contract, as the earlier contender Oracle missed the bus.

The JEDI Cloud computing contract is aimed to bring the entire military under the envelope of a single Cloud provider.

Over the last two years, the Department of Defence has awarded more than $11 billion across 10 separate cloud contracts.

“As we continue to execute the DOD Cloud Strategy, additional contracts are planned for both cloud services and complementary migration and integration solutions necessary to achieve effective cloud adoption,” said DOD.

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Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

The base contract period is two years with a $1 million guarantee.

“The National Defence Strategy dictates that we must improve the speed and effectiveness with which we develop and deploy modernised technical capabilities to our women and men in uniform,” said DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy.

“The DOD Digital Modernisation Strategy was created to support this imperative. This award is an important step in execution of the Digital Modernisation Strategy.”

The project saw backlash from several quarters including employees at tech giants like Google and Microsoft, alleging that the “contract is massive in scope and shrouded in secrecy, which makes it nearly impossible to know what we as workers would be building”.

Also Read: Twitter Will Never Join Facebook’s Libra, Says CEO Jack Dorsey

Succumbing to pressure from employees, Google last year dropped its bid to be part of the JEDI contract.

It’s a key contract for Microsoft as the company battles Amazon for cloud dominance, reports The Verge.

US President Donald Trump, who has been a critic of Amazon and Bezos over the company’s tax arrangements, even got involved during the bidding process, saying the government was looking at the contract after “getting enormous complaints” from competitors to Amazon and Microsoft. (IANS)

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Microsoft Announces an Update for Cloud Contracts Following EU Privacy Probe

The company said it remains committed to listening closely to customers' needs and concerns regarding privacy

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FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

Microsoft has announced an update to the privacy provisions in the Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST) for its commercial cloud contracts, providing more transparency over data processing to its customers in the Microsoft Cloud.

The company said in a statement late Monday that the new contractual terms will apply to all commercial customers — public sector and private sector, large enterprises and small and medium businesses — globally at the beginning of 2020.

“At Microsoft we consider privacy a fundamental right, and we believe stronger privacy protections through greater transparency and accountability should benefit our customers everywhere,” said Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President for Global Privacy and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Privacy Officer.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Following EU privacy probe Microsoft said it will increase data protection responsibilities for a subset of processing that Microsoft engages in when it provides enterprise services.

Also Read: We Fact-checks All Political Ads, Claims Snapchat

“In the update, we will clarify that Microsoft assumes the role of data controller when we process data for specified administrative and operational purposes incident to providing the cloud services covered by this contractual framework, such as Azure, Office 365, Dynamics and Intune,” said the company.

The company said it remains committed to listening closely to customers’ needs and concerns regarding privacy. (IANS)