Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Microsoft expands cloud service in push for $10 billion Pentagon contract

Microsoft expands cloud service in push for $10 billion Pentagon contract

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract is a massive undertaking that aims to transform the US military's information technology infrastructure by moving vast amounts of its data to a cloud computing platform.

The company later said it would entirely ban the development of AI software that can be used in weapons systems and establish a new set of AI principles that would set limits on the company's work moving forward.

Earlier this year, Defence One reported that Google co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai were instrumental in sparking the Pentagon's interest in cloud computing, though the company had only quietly pursued a contract amid fears of a strong reaction from rank and file staffers.

"I don't think anyone was doubting that Microsoft would be able to get its security up to snuff before the JEDI contract", said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Bach. But Google Cloud chief executive Diane Greene said at the time that the company could not control the military's "downstream use" of the technology.

Google has announced that it won't be bidding for a Pentagon computing contract valued at $10 billion amid fears the project doesn't align with the tech company's ethical values, following protests from its staff.

Kavanaugh takes seat on Supreme Court as protesters outside shout ’SHAME’
Bush administration and his comments about Democrats using allegations of sexual assault against him, according to the Post. The latest justice to join the bench, Neil Gorsuch, spoke past year during his swearing-in at the White House Rose Garden.

UAE passport surges up global rankings of 'most powerful'
Germany, another country to hold the top spot in previous years, is now in third place alongside South Korea and France. The UK shares the ranking with Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the US.

"Extremely Dangerous" Hurricane Michael Rumbles Towards Florida Coast
Unprecedented? This could be the first time a 4 or stronger hurricane has ever made landfall in the Florida panhandle, per TWC. Rick Scott tweeted, while the sheriff in Panama City's Bay County issued a shelter-in-place order before dawn.

The Department of Defense's $10 billion cloud contract has lost one of its top potential bidders, according to multiple news reports. In recent months, Microsoft has been seen as a competitive alternative as it expands its work with the intelligence community.

The JEDI contract has been a source of controversy in the past, but that was mostly due to the DOD's decision to award it to a single cloud service provider.

A low-level certification might be sufficient for cloud-based services used to support public websites, while a high level would be needed to host secret government information.

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. November 7, 2017.

Even if Microsoft doesn't win the JEDI contract, earning the IL-6 authorization next year will give the company an advantage as it competes for other government business. Oracle filed a complaint a few months ago to challenge that, telling the government that dividing a massive contract between several companies "promotes constant competition, fosters innovation and lowers prices". Microsoft first announced Azure Government Secret back in October, and today Julia White, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure said that new Azure Regions dedicated to secret United States classified data will be available in Q1 2019.

Like this: