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2 deals boost Microsoft’s cloud future

Microsoft's $10 B Pentagon contract is another sign it is gathering cloud computing momentum.

Microsoft continues to gather momentum from its shift to cloud computing.

On Friday, the Pentagon awarded the world’s biggest software company a US $10 billion cloud computing contract. The surprise was that Amazon didn’t win the bid. It is a big contract for Microsoft (NDQ: MSFT) as it battles Amazon for cloud dominance.

The 10-year project, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, pitted Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle and IBM against one another. JEDI is a program to make the U.S. defence department more agile by replacing its aging computer networks with a single cloud system.

IBM (NYSE:IBM)  and Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) were both eliminated for the bidding in April, leaving just Microsoft and Amazon (NDQ:AMZN) as the only companies that could meet the requirements.

Under the contract, Microsoft will provide artificial intelligence-based analysis and host classified military secrets among other services. The JEDI system will store and process classified data, allowing the U.S. military to use artificial intelligence to speed up its planning and fighting capabilities.

In related news last week, Humana Inc. one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., announced a seven-year partnership with Microsoft for cloud services. The hope is to simplify the online interaction between doctors, patients and the health insurer.

Microsoft logoThe Louisville, Kentucky-based Humana (NYSE:HUM) will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data analytics platform.

As cloud computing applications evolve, they are combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) software which learns as it goes and the Internet of Things (IoT), which connects multiple devices to AI software. Increasingly blockchain technology is part of the mix.

It is a good example of the promise of new technologies.  They drive down costs, increase efficiency, and create new ways of doing things that save time and money. The companies developing these technologies reap rewards as they create the new products and services.  Microsoft is one of them.

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