The Pentagon is mulling killing off the JEDI cloud contract as Amazon's court challenge looks to drag on.

AWS claim that the Department of Defense chose Microsoft for the $10bn military cloud contract after improper pressure from then-President Trump to "screw Amazon."

The connected soldier
– Sebastian Moss

Return of the procurement process

Microsoft was awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to host most of the military's computing needs back in October 2019, but has yet to begin work on the project due to the ongoing court case.

Earlier this year, the DoD, DoJ, and Microsoft all tried to get the court to drop the part of the case that focused on political interference.

At the time, the DoD threatened that investigating the claim would delay the $10bn contract beyond the point of usefulness, and said it could cancel it altogether.

Last month, the court denied the motion to dismiss the case. Now it looks like the DoD is weighing following through on its threats.

“We’re going to have to assess where we are with regard to the ongoing litigation around JEDI and determine what the best path forward is for the department,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said at an April 30 security conference organized by the Aspen Institute, first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that it agreed with the US government "that prolonged litigation is harmful and has delayed getting this technology to our military service members who need it."

The company added: “We stand ready to support the Defense Department to deliver on JEDI and other mission-critical DoD projects.”

Microsoft is still set to provide a number of compute services to the US military, even if JEDI collapses. In November 2020, the DoD awarded General Dynamics IT a $4.4bn contract to provide the military's cloud email and business software services. GDIT, with partner Dell, is essentially reselling Microsoft Office 365 services.

Earlier this year, Microsoft won an even larger contract: A huge $22bn deal to deliver 120,000 custom HoloLens kits to soldiers. As part of the contract, Microsoft will provide cloud and Edge services to support the augmented reality kit.