The deal, which the company said Wednesday is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, allows 17 intelligence agencies and offices to use Microsoft’s Azure Government, a cloud service tailored for federal and local governments, in addition to other products Microsoft already offers, such as its Windows 10 operating system and word processing programs.
The cloud agreement gives Microsoft more power to make its case to the Pentagon as goes up against competitors like International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp. and Amazon for the agency’s winner-take-all cloud computing contract for up to 10 years. Amazon Web Services, the leading cloud provider, is widely perceived to be the front-runner for the job, which is expected to amount to billions of dollars over the duration of the contract.
"What this does, is it reinforces the fact that we are a solid cloud platform that the federal government can put their trust in," Dana Barnes, the vice president of the company’s national security group, said in an interview. "If the IC can trust it, so can the DOD."
A Pentagon spokeswoman didn’t comment on the Microsoft cloud agreement.
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