Microsoft is turning the tables on AWS, challenging a $10 billion contract award from the National Security Agency (NSA).
Microsoft won the $10 billion JEDI contract from the Pentagon in October 2019, beating out AWS in the process. AWS immediately filed a lawsuit, winning an injunction against Microsoft moving forward with deployment. The legal challenge drug out for so long that the Pentagon was forced to abandon the project in the interests of not falling further behind in their efforts to modernize their systems.
AWS has won a $10 billion contract with the NSA, and Microsoft is launching a legal challenge of its own, according to Nextgov. The project, codenamed “WildandStormy,” appears to be aimed at modernizing the agency’s classified data repository.
When Nextgov reached to AWS, they referred questions to the NSA and the NSA provided the following statement:
“NSA recently awarded a contract for cloud computing services to support the Agency. The unsuccessful offeror has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The Agency will respond to the protest in accordance with appropriate federal regulations.”
Microsoft also confirmed the situation in a statement to Nextgov:
“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
Microsoft is in challenging situation. On the one hand, while they obviously see some merit to challenging the decision, the company was vocal in criticizing AWS for allegedly abusing the system when it fought Microsoft’s win. Microsoft said AWS was using the legal discovery process to learn what it had bid — in what should have been a closed-bid process — and then lower its own bid to undercut.
Microsoft will no doubt want to be careful not to give the appearance of doing the very thing it accused AWS of.