Microsoft bids to supply cloud-based AI technologies to US intelligence agencies

Microsoft has announced that it has won a deal from the US Government which allows 17 intelligence agencies and offices to use Microsoft’s Azure Government, in addition to technology such as Windows 10 and Office.

The deal expands a previous agreement between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Dell, which licenses Microsoft’s products to the federal government.

The Defense Department has said it intends to move 3.4 million users and 4 million devices to the cloud to give it a tactical edge on the battlefield and strengthen its use of emerging technologies, and Microsoft is jockeying for position against IBM, Oracle and Amazon for the contract, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“What this (deal) 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 Microsofts national-security group. “If the IC (intelligence community) can trust it, so can the DOD.”

Amazon Web Service is believed to be the front-runner for the deal.

Microsoft, however, insists it offers unique advantages, including artificial-intelligence capabilities, voice-recognition and translation products and the ability to support hybrid-technology environments that mix legacy on-premise computing systems with cloud systems, with Barnes saying Microsoft’s cloud-based artificial intelligence tools are “very valuable to this community.”

Via Seattle Times

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