The Defense Department on Friday awarded a $10 billion contract to Microsoft, snubbing Amazon, which was largely seen as the front-runner to get the 10-year government commitment, The New York Times reports. Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Google were battling it out for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, which will integrate cloud computing technology considered vital to emerging forms of war. The contract will also facilitate a huge technological upgrade for the military, which currently runs on computer systems from the 80s and the 90s.
Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, has been a frequent target of attacks from the president. A former speechwriter for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also reportedly claimed in a forthcoming book that Trump wanted to “screw” Amazon by giving the JEDI contract to someone else. Microsoft has not spoken publicly about the matter. Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said their cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, is the “clear leader” in the industry but the government seemed to draw “a different conclusion.”