Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Microsoft secured a $10 billion cloud computing contract from the Pentagon on Friday, CNBC reports, beating competitors like Amazon to a lucrative 10-year contract.

Why it matters, via Axios' Ina Fried: This giant deal has been a hard fought battle, as Oracle and IBM previously held hopes they could win the cloud computing prize.

Background: A dozen GOP members of Congress sent President Trump a letter in July urging him to delay the Pentagon's plan to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract to a single company.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Scott Rosenberg: The president's outspoken criticism of Amazon and its founder put the Pentagon in a tough place however the choice came down. If the government went with Amazon, it might have raised Trump's ire, but now that it is rejecting the company, it will inevitably be accused of politicizing the choice.

What they're saying:

“We’re surprised about this conclusion. AWS is the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure.”
— Amazon Web Services statement to Axios

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
9 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM dives full-throttle into electric

GMC Hummer EV. Photo courtesy of General Motors

What has LeBron James as a pitchman, some slightly awkward promotional phrasing ("watts to freedom"), and a six-figure starting price? The electric GMC Hummer.

Driving the news: General Motors unveiled the vehicle — a reborn version of the deceased mega-guzzler — with a highly produced rollout Tuesday night that included a World Series spot. The company also began taking reservations.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

CEO confidence skyrockets on expectations of layoffs and wage cuts

U.S. consumers remain uncertain about the economic environment but CEOs are feeling incredibly confident, the latest survey from the Conference Board shows.

Why it matters: Confidence among chief executives jumped 19 points from its last reading in July, rising above the 50-point threshold that reflects more positive than negative responses for the first time since 2018.