back to article Judge Vulcan-nerve pinches JEDI deal after Amazon forks out $42m to pause Microsoft's military machinations

A US federal court today slammed the brakes on the Pentagon's decision to award Microsoft the JEDI cloud mega-contract. Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith granted Amazon its requested restraining order that effectively pauses the ten-year $10bn winner-takes-all deal. The web giant applied for the order to give it time to challenge …

  1. RuffianXion

    I'm sure that once Donald America can get Tim Apple, Jeff Amazon and Frank Microsoft together, this will all be resolved amicably (as soon as someone explains what 'amicably' means to Donald).

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Don't you mean Donald Bankrupt?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I *seriously* need more upvotes to give to comments like this..

        1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

          That's OK, you can have one of mine

    2. Fluffy Cactus

      Anyone who hires MSFT for some kind of mission critical military SOFTWARE, is an idiot.

      Because MSFT does not know the meaning of "mission critical".

      Nor does it know the meaning of "customer service".

      MSFT is the equivalent of General Motors "Chevy Vega" of the 1970's. As in: "it just might work for you for a while, but don't come complaining to us!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft’s Cloud uptime compared to AWS over the last 3 years should be looked at. According to Gartner AWS is 7x more reliable than Azure. I know which cloud I would want to run my critical systems on.

  2. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    In the jungle

    Having worked for the Feds in contracting, it seems like Amazon worked the low channel to rig the contract proposal to favor their bid but the high (orange) channel let it be known that an Amazon award would be bad. If the award is overturned, Microsoft would have ample grounds to challenge the process. The lawyers feast tonight.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the jungle

      "it seems like Amazon worked the low channel to rig the contract proposal to favor their bid"

      If by rigged, you mean built facilities to match DoD requirements with the intention of having an advantage for future contracts, then yes - you can call that rigged.

      Or you can look it as game changing for the DoD where rather than forking out significant sums of money for services that maybe able to be delivered at some point in the future, the DoD could use available services with no significant upfront costs for the size of the contract. Microsoft realised the game had changed but were a little over 2 years behind standing up competing facilities. Oracle and IBM still believe that the DoD will pay them in the order of 5% of the contract value just to stand up services at some point in the future.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: In the jungle

        No, "rigged" as in "had 'ex-'employees involved in the specification writing process". Seriously, the spec was originally written such that only AWS and GCP had a chance at the deal--and by the time things had gotten serious, Alphabet had already signaled that it was too "pure" to engage in contracts with the DoD.

        1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: In the jungle

          My experience with Google products in government contracting is that they are capable of meeting the contract requirements on a technical level, but they are completely unusable in implementation. We were forced to use Google Office products in place of MS Office on one contract I had the misadventure to work and it was painful on a number of levels. I do not know about cloud services as it is outside my area of expertise, but that has certainly colored my view of all things coming out of the Chocolate Factory.

          1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

            Re: In the jungle

            There are things that Google gets very, very right (from a business standpoint), and then there is everything else.

            They get networking very, very right. They get ads very, very right.

            But GDocs is an excellent example of why everything is NOT an HTML document. For instance.

            I have two concerns about G doing JEDI. 1) Security is NOT something that G has deeply embedded into its DNA. Quite the opposite, in fact. 2) There is a very strong anti-US and anti-military environment there, up and down the ladder. Yes, there are 30000 engineers, but getting the people who actually have the ability to do the thing AND want to do it right might be a lot harder than might be expected.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the jungle

        Amazed only one other person thought of the conflict of interest Amazon had in this.

        More here: https://theintercept.com/2019/06/03/amazon-defense-department-jedi-contract/

        You people who blindly are against anything Trump is for and vice versa had better hope he

        doesn't come out in favor of breathing. He could be right, if only by accident, you know.

        Not that I think MS is better than AWS at cloudy things. Neither deserves a single source contract.

        Being sympathetic to the challenges of gov procurement, though, having more than one lets them all point fingers and run up the tab when their pieces don't work together. There's plenty of history on that one.

        Perhaps the real story is that the government knows it lacks the competence to do this for itself - and doesn't deign to address fixing that in house. Which is a lose for all, as without that competence, it will fail in most of its goals anyway.

        Or like one of the F35 failures, cede things like the IP involved to the contractors (the gov doesn't own the F35 IP! - it's not like they haven't shoveled out the bucks.).

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: In the jungle

      The lawyers feast tonight.

      They always do. Let's face it (in the US at least) it takes some really, really special sauce to fail at being a lawyer..

      (Bit like being a real-estate developer there!)

  3. Mr Booth
    Coat

    It was the end of history....

    Babylon 5 pic again. This drama may last nearly as long as the series did. However in terms of entertainment value; I give this 2 stars only. The lawyers must work harder. Mine's the one in the Omega-X Class Destroyer in orbit.

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: It was the end of history....

      I really do worry about ElReg's grasp of 'reality'. A Star Trek reference with a Babylon 5 picture just grates. Unless they somehow figure the overly confident guy in the back running everything reminds them of someone mentioned in this article.

      1. stuartnz

        Re: It was the end of history....

        "A Star Trek reference with a Babylon 5 picture just grates" - reactions like this one always make me imagine an El Reg hack channelling Leonard Nimoy

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It was the end of history....

        No. You do not understand. Go.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: It was the end of history....

          You do not understand, but you will.

          1. Ordinary Donkey

            Re: It was the end of history....

            Good.

        2. awoze

          Re: It was the end of history....

          Understand, you do not. Go, you must.

      3. Martin an gof Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: It was the end of history....

        I hate to state the obvious to someone who has been around these parts since 2009, but if you look you will see that every article on El Reg about the JEDI contract is headed by dreadful punny headlines and misplaced images referencing any science fiction series you care to mention, except Star Wars. "Jedi" is, of course (sorry, sorry) a Star Wars "thing".

        M.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: It was the end of history....

          B5, Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly.

          Lots mentioned.

          Seen bits of all, but still favourite is Trek.

          I liked Firefly but the film ending upset me (Wash).

          Wars, prequels, and the latest films seem odd.

          Now when will ElReg channel a few other series?

          And what will they be?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It was the end of history....

          "dreadful punny headlines and misplaced images "

          One persons dreadful puns and misplaced images is another persons droll humour and world class trolling that just gets funnier the longer goes on.

          I do hope the writer remembered to buy shares in a scifi underwear producer early in the game. The way end get bunched up so often, I bet demand has soared...

          1. jimbo60
            Pint

            Re: It was the end of history....

            Hoist a cold one to El Reg for playing the long game with their humor. Most tech rags would not remember what they published last week.

            1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

              "Most tech rags would not remember what they published last week"

              You need to be a black-belt in reoccurring inside jokes to work around here.

              It's partly to annoy pedants, and partly a send-up of publications (including El Reg TBF) that accidentally mix up pictures of TV shows, airplanes, battleships, old computers, actors, etc, in headlines and images.

              C.

              1. stuartnz

                Re: "Most tech rags would not remember what they published last week"

                Perhaps a nom de plume as a byline could enhance the experience? "Del N." would seem an apt choice :)

                1. Ordinary Donkey

                  Re: "Most tech rags would not remember what they published last week"

                  It would have to be "Lando Mollari"

              2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

                Re: "Most tech rags would not remember what they published last week"

                By "surprising everyone", you apparently missed what one clued-up (that is someone, no me who has extensive history with DoD contracts) commentard. When the first delay in awarding the contract was announced, he indicated that this was a sign that the preferred contractor had not come out on top, and confidently announced that AWS was out. Some months before the m$ contract was awarded.

                I expect that there were a few thousand like him.

        3. Alistair
          Windows

          Re: It was the end of history....

          Martin:

          Star Wars is a "Ronny Ray-gun" thing.

      4. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: It was the end of history....

        I found it quite amusing that the headline references two classic sci-fi universes, but the picture was from the third... maybe they represent the spectators, munching popcorn.

      5. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: It was the end of history....

        > I really do worry about ElReg's grasp of 'reality'. A Star Trek reference with a Babylon 5 picture just grates.

        I'm sure I remember seeing Lieutenant Sulu in several Babylon 5 episodes.

        1. not.known@this.address Silver badge

          Re: It was the end of history....

          Ensign Chekov, I believe. Playing the show's fourth biggest villain, Bester of PsiCorps.

      6. Alister Silver badge

        Re: It was the end of history....

        @Notas Badoff

        You are suffering from WHOOOOOSH!

        It is deliberate trolling by El Reg, and has been the same for every article about the JEDI deal.

      7. Psmo Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: It was the end of history....

        "A satisfying Reg article trolls the readers, the subject and the sub-ed."

        - Mark Twain

      8. MrDamage

        Re: It was the end of history....

        If you are unable to grasp the irony of the headline, and byline, I suggest you look at this picture until you get it.

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DoRbRAzXcAEspOU?format=jpg&name=small

      9. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: It was the end of history....

        @Notas: As I posted last time someone made your comment:

        "It's a long running joke on the topic of JEDI hereabouts - there hasn't been a Star Wars picture used yet, IIRC. Initially it played on the Star Wars/Star Trek conflation by those barbarians that don't care to know the difference, and now brings in B5. *We* all know the difference, and who starred in what... , but sometimes pretend not to."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It was the end of history....

      The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: It was the end of history....

        CASH!.... Cash!

        Icon - How you see Kosh.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: It was the end of history....

      Pretty sure that pic is from Firefly.

    4. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      Re: It was the end of history....

      And it's the wrong side, too. For anything involving Micro$haft, Amazon, the American "justice" system and the DoD, it should be Mr Morden and his compatriots, not the good ambassadors (well, mostly good in Londo's case...)

    5. Del_Varner

      Re: It was the end of history....

      Why B5, the headline was Star Trek and Star Wars

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It was the end of history....

        Yes.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Billionaire white men argue...

    "Pick my cloudy bollocks"

    It's just a way of moving your tax dollars around to make any one of these cunts more rich.

    1. fandom

      Re: Billionaire white men argue...

      Like Microsoft's CEO?

  5. xyz

    Vulcan Jedis!

    Why do I still fancy Delenn?

    1. nichomach

      Re: Vulcan Jedis!

      Understanding is not required; only obedience.

  6. RLWatkins

    Did Trump call himself Bezos "rival"?

    That's pretty funny.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did Trump call himself Bezos "rival"?

      Especially given that Bezos coupld buy Trumps' 'business empire' out of petty cash. And actually make a profit out of it.

  7. EnviableOne Silver badge

    FFS AWS still have a lead over microsoft, GCP is still behind, and thats the limit of people who could be the single vendor.

    As was said, AWS were flexible enough to meet the requirements, and had enough of a revolving door policy with DoD to be on top of them

    MS and G pulled out of the original race,

    Larry and IBM kicked up a stink as they were losing the revenue from the current disjoined systems and weren't big enough to bid for the whole thing

    This will not end anytime soon, meanwhile DoD will have to make do and mend what they have, which will keep Big Reb and Big Blue happy

  8. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    " the clear favorite to win the ten-year single-supplier IT modernization contract"

    Spot the error here. Regardless of who that favourite is.

  9. RegW

    Windows for Warships

    "...those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require,"

    So they are not going to be stuck on Windows Server 2016 in 2030.

  10. johnnyblaze

    Size 40's

    This spat is mainly because Trump stepped in with this size 40's (before shoving them way down his throat again), and threw his toys out the pram because he hates Bezos. I personally think MS are one step away from the anti-christ too, but for a contract this large, if there's any sign of favoritism (or hateism) or under-the-table deals, it needs to be found out.

    MS will just have to put champagne back in the cooler for a while longer

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Coat

      Re: Size 40's

      Wow, those are MASSIVE shoes!

      D'oh!, took me a second to realise that must be American size, but isn't 40 quite small? Size of feet and correlations and all...

      1. keith_w Bronze badge

        Re: Size 40's

        no, size 40 is quite large. North American shoe sizes are Last Length x 3 -24, so size 40 would be (40+24)/3 = a 21.33 inch last, a last being the foot-shaped template over which the shoe is manufactured. So size 40 would be clown shoes.

      2. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Size 40's

        EU size 40 is US size 7 or 7.5, so quite small for a man.

    2. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: Size 40's

      EU tiny hands joke. Well done, sir!

  11. Trbonja

    Reference to Star Trek with Babilon 5 pic=Priceless!

  12. E 2

    Editors: your writer needs to be Vulcan-nerve pinched.

    The picture used on the story is the cast of Babylon 5. Vulcan-nerve pinches are a Star Trek thing.

  13. LizardKY

    I'm sure your use of the cast of "Lost in Space" to illustrate a reference to the Jedi from "Star Trek" will infuriate the pedants who don't get the joke.

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