back to article Use the courts, Jeff: Amazon to contest Microsoft scooping $10bn JEDI contract

Amazon is headed for court to contest the surprise decision to hand Microsoft the $10bn US Department of Defense JEDI IT supply contract. Jeff Bezos' retail-cum-cloud empire alleges that Microsoft won because of "political influence" and "unmistakable bias". The company has also accused the US defence department of failing to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kate Mulgrew, ooooh, that voice!

    1. Bert 1
      Joke

      I think they've used the wrong picture...

      ... that is NOT Babylon 5!

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Why would you expect Babylon 5 images to be used in an article that clearly references Space: Above And Beyond in the title?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I just realised...

          The expanse, did it rip that one off?

          I'm guessing it must have, because they both have Reavers in them.

        2. pinkmouse

          Still waiting for a pic of the X-Bomber. But I did dig out the EP and play it. Very 80's... :-)

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      > Kate Mulgrew, ooooh, that voice!

      Katherine Hepburn does a good impression of her.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Kathryn Janeway does too.

  2. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    What will the DoD do when they find out in a few years that China has brought a controlling stake in Microsoft? Whoopsies.

    1. kat_bg

      If you go in that direction, same can be told by either of the bidders (Amazon included)...

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Jeff appears to be a little bit upset....

    Oh didums didn't get his lollipop.... ( I wonder how much his failed backhander actually cost him, not that I am suggesting that there are any corrupt senators out there, cough cough.)

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Jeff appears to be a little bit upset....

      Right, it just happened that MS have the better cloud offering than the people who basically invented the whole thing, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Cheeto-in-chief loathing Bezos and his newspaper that says truthful and mean things about him.

  4. DCFusor Silver badge
    Trollface

    Reality distortion

    I'm sure Bezos, a serious businessman, bought the Post because he thought that print media would reverse the trend and someday become profitable again.

    Does anyone really believe that? You can ignore reality, but not the consequences of that ignorance.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "failing to run a fair procurement contest"

    Right, because he didn't win it, it wasn't fair.

    Sure.

    It is highly annoying that these billionaires have so much money to annoy everyone with. I can only hope that this court case will cost him tens of millions and he will lose.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "failing to run a fair procurement contest"

      "Right, because he didn't win it, it wasn't fair."

      In this case, I suspect he is upset because while AWS had the best proposition, they haven't won.

      Against Oracle and IBM, AWS and Microsoft were so far ahead that Oracle and IBM weren't even in the race and yet Oracle still protested that it was unfair.

      Against Microsoft, AWS have about a three year head start on migrations as a large chunk of DoD cloud hosting is already with AWS because their competitors are still standing up DoD GovCloud facilities.

      The analogy I would make is with car racing - AWS have been winning the race for the last 4-5 years with very little competition and meet ALL of the DoD's requirements. This year there will be some competition but their car is only running on two wheels at the moment and is likely to start the race 6 months late (Azure are still standing up facilities to meet DoD GovCloud resilience requirements - I do not believe these are operational at this point in time). In two years time, Oracle and IBM hope to be ready to join the race if the DoD pays them enough.

      The irony of Oracles complaints about the DoD being dependent on one supplier with JEDI going to AWS is that JEDI and most office requirements (i.e. Office365) is that the DoD has effectively gone with one supplier at this point in time.

      On paper, there was one clear winner for the JEDI contract in terms of cost, ability to deliver services and meet time frames that the DoD wanted as well as fitted in with other strategic IT decisions the DoD has made.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: "failing to run a fair procurement contest"

        >In this case, I suspect he is upset because while AWS had the best proposition, they haven't won.

        If I were the DoD, I'd want to support the competition to make sure some still exists.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "failing to run a fair procurement contest"

          "If I were the DoD, I'd want to support the competition to make sure some still exists."

          This is the argument I am making - the DoD strategy was for two primary vendors (AWS and Azure) and a number of specialist providers for state/special projects DC's.

          With AWS losing JEDI, the bids already awarded to Microsoft/Azure for office productivity tools now look short-sighted as they tied the DoD into a lot of Azure GovCloud services.

          As for other vendors, once they stop playing stupid games (i.e. make the DoD pay for everything we can think of) they may stop winning stupid prizes (losing lawsuits in new ways). The DoD has tried to get vendors to change their behaviour, the vendors haven't changed and so they have been left out.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Predictions

    I predict the only people who are going to "win" here are the lawyers.

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Predictions

      You know, I've lost count of the number of times someone has posted that comment.

      And it's still true every time.

  7. iron Silver badge

    What would be really funny is if the courts decide to agree with Amazon and then the contract goes to Oracle.

    Would serve the corrupt bribers right.

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Oracle would be shit I think but would be funny.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Would serve the corrupt bribers right."

      Given the upfront payments that Oracle wanted if they won the contract, you might have to specify who you thought the "corrupt bribers" were.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trekkies to contest The Register usage of Captain Janeway image in a Star Wars context

    Need I say more ?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Trekkies to contest The Register usage of Captain Janeway image in a Star Wars context

      Do keep up, there's a good chap.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Is there a sort of reverse musical chairs. Everyone else contests whoever has just been handed the contract so last one to contest it wins? Everyone tries to avoid winning the initial contract award.

  10. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Not surprised

    Because of the scope of the contract I am not surprised at various maneuverings going on. Given the squawking of the Minions and others it was always likely to end up in the courts for one reason or another.

  11. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Having been on Azure

    For the last year, I REALLY doubt that M$ can meet milspec requirements for reliability. It's just not in their culture.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Having been on Azure

      I actually think they can. Microsoft has been doing this for a while with other contracts, after all. The Azure that you and I can use is not the Azure that the government uses.

    2. Psmo Bronze badge

      Re: Having been on Azure

      Don't underestimate a client with deep pockets.

      The contract included dedicated datacentres as well as cloud provisionning.

      Microsoft's air-gapable and fully-flexible solution was a strong contender for Amazon's cloud-only story.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Having been on Azure

      "For the last year, I REALLY doubt that M$ can meet milspec requirements for reliability. It's just not in their culture."

      Were you on public Azure cloud or Azure US GovCloud?

      They are very different environments, just run by the same company.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Having been on Azure

      Actually it's much easier for Microsoft. All the layered security, constrained delegation, conditional access, Just Enough Administration, configuration field level ACLs and auditing erc etc are baked in from the groumd up whereas Amazon have to build a complex zoo of bolt ons to reach a similar level.

  12. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Why bother?

    10 billion is a lot of cash. But these companies make that in a weekend so why do they bother fighting over it? Is it just to piss on the other's bonfire?

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Why bother?

      Once you have amassed a certain level of wealth, you aren't looking to gain more wealth just for the wealth. You do it because, at least in the US, wealth equals power -- and for these sorts of people, the thirst for power can never be quenched.

  13. JohnFen Silver badge

    Consolation prize

    Bezos could console himself by considering this as Microsoft taking on the bad PR that comes with the contract rather than Amazon.

    I'm sure that he prefers the mountain of money over literally all other considerations, but still...

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Meh

      All other considerations

      I suspect a lot of these court cases are fought for PR, particularly for the shareholders' benefit. To show, 1) We weren't incompetent and should have won the bid

      2) We always about making you that extra bit of profit (even if we really don't).

      It's the business equivalent of the toddler-tantrum.

  14. EastFinchleyite
    Mushroom

    In keeping

    This is the military we are talking about. Isn't it supposed to be a complete SNAFU. ?

    1. Saruman the White Bronze badge

      Re: In keeping

      Just wait a while - the SNAFU will hit sooner or later, with the cover-up following about 5 seconds afterwards.

      1. TranceWarp
        Coat

        Re: In keeping

        More a SNAFU with a dash of FUBAR.

  15. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    "Oracle accused AWS of a variety of dodgy practices"

    .. is somewhat akin of Torquemada accusing the CIA of human rights violations..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Oracle accused AWS of a variety of dodgy practices"

      Very much so.

      Oracle have scrapped every ounce of pork from the DoD barrel - suggesting that there are dodgy practices within AWS maybe (i.e. I can't validate that it was not corrupt) accurate BUT it is an order of magnitude less than the dodgy practices that existing vendors were involved in, including Oracle.

      Some of the stories around charges for changes to DoD equipment in data centres managed by third parties are hilarious if it wasn't for the fact that US tax payers were paying for this behaviour.

  16. TheVogon Silver badge

    Lol @ Amazon complaining about bias when they have been schmoozing for years. What goes around comes arphnd.

    And Azure is a fundamentally better and easier to use product any way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And Azure is a fundamentally better and easier to use product any way."

      Which explains why Azure will likely take an extra 6+ months to get their facilities up to the required minimum level. Azure is playing catchup with AWS in GovCloud. Google Azure Govcloud facilities if you don't believe me - Azure is still building out their West Coast infrastructure to support this bid.

      What you call "schmoozing" is probably referred to as "working with a partner who can deliver the capabilities you require" in most industries - DoD's security model left a lot to be desired 10 years ago. Google and AWS did a lot to address that between 2009-2013, mainly due to challenges put forward by the incumbents before Azure had any real public IaaS cloud to speak of. Azure only really joined the GovCloud party ~4 years ago and are still catching up with their main competitor.

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