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May 11, 2020

Amazon Blasts Microsoft for “Spotty Performance” as JEDI Row Continues

"Self-righteous and pontificating blog posts" all round...

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon has hit out at rival Microsoft in a fresh row over the controversial JEDI cloud contract — slating it for “spotty operational performance” and “self-righteous and pontificating” blog posts, following Microsoft’ $10 billion JEDI contract win, which will see it provide cloud services to the Pentagon.

The comments, made Friday by Amazon’s VP of communications Drew Herdener in a blog post shared on the company’s official page, came after Amazon filed a fresh appeal against the decision to award the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) to Microsoft; Amazon claims that “political interference blatantly impacted the award decision”.

It is asking an “unresponsive” Department of Defense for clarity on how storage was defined in the proposal, saying its initial award to Microsoft was “fatally flawed on all six of the technical evaluation factors.”

It cites President Trump’s transparent dislike of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose Washington Post has raised Trump’s ire numerous times, as a factor in AWS missing out on a contract that many had seen it as a favourite to win. (The JEDI cloud will see Microsoft  bring 1,700 different data centres and 500 cloud initiatives into a single common cloud environment.)

On April 15, the DoD’s Inspector General found the decision to award the contract to Microsoft “was consistent with applicable law and acquisition standards”. He noted, however, that he “could not review this matter fully because of the assertion of a ‘presidential communications privilege,’ which resulted in several DoD witnesses being instructed by the DoD Office of General Counsel not to answer our questions about potential communications between White House and DoD officials about JEDI.”

Read this: New Pentagon JEDI Award Report Triggers Firestorm

Hardener wrote on May 8: “We won’t back down on this front regardless of whether Microsoft chooses to try to bully its way to an unjust victory. We also won’t allow blatant political interference or inferior technology to become an acceptable standard.”

“This latest filing – filed with the DOD this time – is another example of Amazon trying to bog down JEDI in complaints, litigation and other delays designed to force a do-over to rescue its failed bid,” Microsoft’s VP, communicatoons Frank Shaw said in a blog post.

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For its turn, Amazon stuck the knife in saying Microsoft is doing an “awful lot of posturing. We understand why. Nobody knowledgeable and objective believes they have the better offering.

“And, this has been further underscored by their spotty operational performance during the COVID-19 crisis (and in 2020 YTD).”

Read this: Microsoft Admits Supply Chain Issues Hit Cloud Server Supply

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