Microsoft has won a lucrative cloud deal with intelligence agencies worth hundreds of millions. The deal lets 17 organizations and offices use Azure Government, Windows 10, and Office. The services have tailored versions with higher security standards, less telemetry, and more.
For Microsoft, it's a big accolade for its push as a trustworthy cloud platform. It puts it in the same space as IBM, Oracle, and Amazon, who are favorites for a huge Pentagon contract. With years of experience in the cloud, AWS is the favorite, but this deal could make Microsoft a stronger contender.
“What this does, is it reinforces the fact that we are a solid cloud platform that the federal government can put their trust in,” said Dana Barnes, vice president of the Microsoft's national-security group. “If the IC can trust it, so can the DOD.”
The deal is an expansion of a previous one between Dell and the Office of the Director of Intelligence, which licenses Microsoft products to the government. The department manages the NSA, CIA, NRO, and NGA.
Microsoft and Drone Testing
The deal comes just a week after Microsoft secured government permission for a drone testing program. The Redmond giant will work in Kansas on projects like motorist rescue, remote safety assessment applications, and agriculture.
It's among a number of other tech companies to gain permission, including Apple, Intel, Google, Airbus, Uber, and FedEx. Amazon's application was denied, marking another win for its competitors.
Microsoft also provides its services to the Chinese government, the DoD, London police, and many more. It currently holds $1.3 billion in unclassified contracts made over the past five years, will also look to land a $600 million deal to switch Defense Department employees to the cloud.