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Microsoft wins $21 billion augmented reality headset contract

Microsoft won a nearly $22 billion contract to provide the Pentagon with augmented reality headsets for soldiers. The company and the US military announced this on Wednesday.

The devices, based on the HoloLens business model, will make soldiers more effective and better safeguard themselves, according to Microsoft technical expert Alex Kipman.

The Defense Department said the production agreement is for five years with an option to renew it. This could make the contract worth more than $21.88 billion over ten years, a Pentagon official said in a statement.

The Pentagon said the contract calls for next-generation night vision and context perception capabilities to be provided.

Kipman blogged that the program provides enhanced context perception, enables information sharing, and facilitates decision-making in various settings.

At the end of last year, the Pentagon said it stood by its decision to award a $10 billion contract for Microsoft’s cloud computing services. 

Amazon is surprised by the decision

Amazon claims that decision had been made under the inappropriate influence of then-President Donald Trump. 

From the beginning, Amazon Web Services, a department within Amazon specializing in these services, was obviously the favorite to win the Jedi contract due to a larger data storage capacity.

Amazon controls almost 40% of the sector in the US, while Microsoft only reaches 15%.

For example, all Netflix content storage is within Amazon’s systems, and for years Bezos’s company has also offered a similar service to the CIA.

But Bezos, in addition to being the owner of Amazon, is the Washington Post newspaper owner. It has maintained a critical line with President Donald Trump.

So Trump has extended the attacks on the newspaper owner, Bezos, and his biggest company, Amazon. Several analysts point out that this confrontation between Trump and Bezos may have influenced the decision.

But the Pentagon said it had offered “fair treatment” to each of the contestants, including Oracle and Google (although Google withdrew a year ago).

Microsoft CEO Toni Townes-Whitley said he was “proud” of what the company had achieved.

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