back to article Microsoft claims AWS has used new JEDI mind trick with secret contract objection filing

Amazon.com has filed a second, secret, appeal against the decision to award Microsoft the Pentagon's $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. So says Microsoft corporate veep for comms Frank X Shaw, who has blogged that the appeal was filed on Tuesday directly with the US Department of Defense. …

  1. Julz Silver badge

    Not

    So secret...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eeny meeny miny mo...

    Which one of these nasty companies do we root for?

    You only need to add Google and Facebook and you have the the 'Famous Five'.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Eeny meeny miny mo...

      Whose Timmy (The dog)?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Eeny meeny miny mo...

        Who's Timmy.... Gggrrrrr

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF?

    Something appears to be seriously amiss here. You have used a star wars pic for a JEDI story.

    Please explain.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: WTF?

      > Something appears to be seriously amiss here. You have used a star wars pic for a JEDI story.

      > Please explain.

      Looks like an X-Men pic to me.

    2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Well, they ran out of Bab5 pics to use, so what are you gonna do?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        Blakes 7?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Benchops

          Re: WTF?

          Whilst I approve of a Blake's 7 pic (anyone seen the virtual backgrounds at https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/empty_sets_science_fiction/zhj7mfr ?), JUST ONE *#-SG1 pic PLEASE!

  4. DCFusor Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Could this be a demonstration that now the Military Industrial complex has more power then the military itself?

    The military can't seem to write their own code and manage their own IT. That's sad enough, and it should be a priority to gain that competence, frankly.

    I don't think our security interests are best served by various vendor shenanigans that both MS and AWS are known for.

    Yes, I know that "national security" is often used on contexts that have nothing to do with the average citizen's security, and often means the job security of some bureaucrat or contractor - or a way to classify wrongdoing so no one pays consequences. I'm using the naive understanding that they actually care about us.

    And now we see that they can't even contract the job out to he desired supplier, and this isn't the first time for that - IIRC there was a contract for Air Force tankers that got reversed awhile back, as the company that thought they were entitled to the work but didn't have the best bid, fought in court till they got the contract anyway - over the arguably better original selection. Citation here (without the gory details that perhaps show the corruption better): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KC-X

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      You mention two separate issues. I think that the following list neatly responds to both:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_of_the_line_of_the_United_States_Navy

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Shhhh.... Don't mention

      the Lockheed Starfighter to the German Airforce.

  5. ratfox Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Question: Were companies allowed to bid against each other during the call for bids? Or did each company give out a single bid in a sealed envelope that nobody but the customer was allowed to see? Or would the DoD come to one of the company and tell them y'know, your competitors are a lot cheaper...?

    Not sure what would be best, there are probably hidden implications in every solution.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      It's been a while, but ...

      It's been 3 or 4 decades since I was involved in government contracting. But I doubt things have changed much. Every contract award is a bit different, but the general process is sort of generic.

      The Gubmint comes up with a Request For Proposal (RFP) that defines the general parameters of the contract. Time span, The sort of price they have in mind. Some things they want done. Completion date. An incredibly lengthy list of laws and specifications that must be complied with. How specific the RFP is, is a function of what is to be done. If they are looking for 300 Tomahawk missiles, your proposal better specify devices the same size and range with identical or near identical capability, with the same interfaces. And they'll probably specify a test regime. In this case they probably specified workloads, data volumes, security constraints, reliability, perhaps acceptable OSes and programming languages, page after page after page ... lots of specificity.

      You as a contractor will have to "qualify" yourself. You'll need to come up with a plausible story about how your operation has adequate staff, experience, etc,etc,etc. to do the job

      Once you've qualified yourself, you then produce a lengthy work of fiction called a Proposal that explains in detail how you will do the job in the specified time period while fully complying with every relevant law and constraint. And how much it will cost. This is where it gets trickier. Different bidders will likely have different approaches, skill sets, hardware preferences, etc, etc, etc. If the contact is for 50,000 pairs of combat boots, the proposals may be relatively easy to compare and the contract will likely be awarded to the low bidder(s). For complex technical products, likely no one is completely sure what is being offered, when, and for how much. But tradition demands that everyone ignore that.

      Anyway, the government may well come back with a few (or a lot or) questions. Revisions to the proposal may be allowed if it becomes clear that there is a genuine misunderstanding about what is desired and some of that is the government's fault. Eventually, the contract is (usually) awarded assuming that there is at least one (marginally) acceptable proposal.

      Then comes the lawsuits and pontificating by guys with expensive haircuts and even more expensive suite. That's the phase we seem to be in now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's been a while, but ...

        Yes - much as I have experienced in recent years, viewed from the side of a public sector customer. One thing I would add is that in the Lawyer Phase, warring bidders may also engage politicians to support their cause, with the emotive topic of jobs won or lost, in the areas where the respective bidders operate. An additional complication is that, during the long period of legal and political wrangling, technology may move on and/or prices change, such that all the bids become obsolete and (even more) overpriced.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Choices

    So, the CIA uses Amazon and the Military uses MS? So after WWIII only Oracle will have data centres because those owns by AMZN and MSFT will be prime targets.

    Did I miss something?

    1. TeraTelnet
      Mushroom

      Re: Choices

      No, by then all data centres will be Taco Bell.

  7. TeeCee Gold badge

    ...due to his animus towards Amazon founder....

    First rule of contract negotiation: Never, ever piss off the bloke who gets to sign the cheque.

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