MICROSOFT HAS won big, securing a five year deal with the Pentagon, the cornerstone of the US government, which will see it provide enterprise-level tech to the Department of Defence, Coastguard, and yes, the intelligence sector.
Yes, Microsoft is officially the tech partner of spies.
The $1.76bn (£1.57bn) deal was announced by the Pentagon as an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity arrangement - in other words, between now and the end of January 2024, Microsoft will offer what is needed, payable on a per task basis, across different cost centres.
The announcement from the US Government explains: "Support includes Microsoft product engineering services for software developers and product teams to leverage a range of proprietary resources and source-code, and Microsoft premier support for tools, knowledge database, problem resolution assistance, and custom changes to Microsoft source-code when applicable. "
In an increasingly crowded marketplace, a win like this for Microsoft is particularly significant, with the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Oracle also in the running.
In fact, Oracle, in typically bullish style, has raised a number of legal complaints about the way that the deals are decided - that is to say, a single supplier getting the whole contract, a complaint echoed by IBM which has been in the running for the lucrative Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract and seems set to lose out to AWS.
That one is worth a cool ten billion dollars so it's not surprising that there are so many ants-in-pants over it.
This contract is small-fry in comparison but nevertheless represents a healthy reflection on the state of Microsoft's Cloud business which has been the architect of its reversal of fortune in recent years. (what, you thought we were going to say Windows 8?).
Google has withdrawn from bidding for Pentagon projects as there is the potential for defence work to grind against its ‘Don't Be Evil' mantra, which is apparently still a thing.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has openly said that it will continue to bid for such work, burbling something about patriotism. μ
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