An American multinational technology corporation. One of the world’s largest IT companies, developing software products, services and devices.
Microsoft has a history of deep engagement with the Israeli high-tech industry and close ties to the Israeli military. Over the years, the company’s Israeli subsidiary, Microsoft Israel, has been providing services to the Israeli government, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and providing cloud services to the Israeli military and security bodies in Israel.
In 2023, Microsoft is expected to open the first Cloud Datacenter Region in Israel in an estimated investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, and announced in 2020. This will be the first data center in Israel established by a global cloud giant and marks a significant investment by Microsoft in the Israeli market.
Services to the Israeli military
Al- Munaseq app
“Al Munaseq” (the coordinator in Arabic) application was developed by the IMOD and is used by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) in the occupied West Bank to manage the issuing of permits needed for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza for work, commerce, family visits and medical and legal needs. The application runs on Microsoft Azure, a Microsoft platform for cloud computing services.
In addition to the provision of general information such as their name, ID and phone number, users have to give access to their phone’s IP address, geographic location, access to the camera and to files stored on the mobile device, and consent to the extraction and storage of the data by the Israeli military, and of sharing the information with third parties such as other government authorities.
By November 2021, over half a million Palestinians were using the app.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, with the closure of the offices of the ICA, Palestinian workers who work in Israel and in Israeli settlements in the West Bank were compelled to fill out a health form using the app and use it to check the status of their permits. For more, read our flash report Exploited and Essential: Palestinian Labour under Covid-19.
Microsoft Smart Glasses
In 2016, the Israeli military published a video presenting its use of Microsoft’s augmented reality smart glasses, Microsoft Hololens, for augmented battlefield training to help with battlefield strategy and training.
Courses for Israeli military
In December 2022, Microsoft Israel announced that it is launching unique technological free training courses for Cyber security professions intended for Israeli military veterans.
In 2021, Microsoft took part in a hackathon of the Israeli military, which took place at a military base, where Israeli soldiers developed new technology for military operational use with the assist of Microsoft mentors. The new developments included a “Settlement Defense” app, designed to assist soldiers guarding Israeli settlements, and a manual weapon calibration system for shooting training for combat soldiers.
Microsoft provides Artificial intelligence (AI) courses for command level officers in the Israeli “Military fighting methods and innovation” unit.
In 2007, the Israeli military announced that soldiers in the military’s computing and cyber studies unit can get free training in a Microsoft course that was developed by the company according to the requirements of the military.
In early 2000, Microsoft signed an agreement with the Israeli military to provide programming courses programs that grant soldiers with the company's recognized degrees.
Cooperation with Israeli military in schools
Microsoft works in cooperation with the Israeli military and the Israeli ministry of education to encourage high school students to excellent in computer science and technology. Engineers from the company lecture at schools alongside military officers who give preparatory lectures for military service.
In addition, Microsoft is collaborating with the Israeli military in “Hadarim” project, which offers high school female students to join a prestigious pre-military program designed to integrate them in high-tech units in the Israeli military.
In 2002, Microsoft was contracted to provide unlimited software products and implementation services for the Israeli military, the IMOD and other security forces for a period of 3 years for the amount of $100 million. The contract included cooperation between the company and the military’s software developers.
In 1999, Microsoft signed a NIS 50 million agreement with the Israeli military to regularize the use of Microsoft software in military departments. The agreement constitutes one of the largest software licensing deals ever signed in Israel. An additional agreement was signed to formalize the use of Microsoft software systems in the military and Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Services to settlements
Ma’ale Adumim Department of Education
In 2019, the Education Department of Ma'ale Adumim settlement entered into a joint venture with Microsoft to implement the use of Microsoft applications for all students and teachers in schools in the settlement, with trainings held by representatives of Microsoft.
Microsoft offers Israeli university students’ free use of the company’s software applications, including students in Ariel University, located in the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank. Those benefits are also provided to staff at the university itself.
The Ariel University is a recognized college of Microsoft, and offers a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) course on behalf of Microsoft, which grants students with an international certification from the company.
In addition, in 2008 Microsoft signed a collaboration agreement with Ariel University to provide E-mail services to all of the university’s students and graduates.
Services to the Israeli government
The Israeli government has an agreement with Microsoft that authorizes any government office to purchase Microsoft products from one of the company’s authorized suppliers, with almost no restriction. In addition, the Israeli government has been buying cloud services in recent years almost exclusively from Microsoft, in amounts ranging from tens of thousands to millions of NIS a month, with no tender and contrary to the regulations of the obligation of tender.
Services for the Israel Police
In December 2022, Microsoft Israel was contracted, with an exemption from tender, by the Israeli Police to provide Microsoft AZURE Cloud Services for NIS 4 million for six months starting January 2023. Also in December 2022, the company was contracted with an exemption from tenders by the Israeli Police to provide licensing for Microsoft products for NIS 16 million from January 2023 until December 2025.
In 2021, Microsoft was contracted to be the sole supplier of software support services for Israel police for the amount of NIS 250,000. In 2020, the company was contracted to provide cloud services for Israel Police for the amount of NIS 7 million. In 2019, the company was contracted to provide Microsoft Azure cloud services for NIS 3.5 million.
Services for the Israel Prison Service
In 2021, Microsoft was contracted to provide software consulting services for Israel Prison Service (IPS) for the year 2022, for the amount of NIS 796,415. In 2020, the company was contracted to provide the same services for the amount of NIS 793,893. In 2019, the company was contracted to be the sole supplier of computing products for IPS until 2022. Between 2017 and 2019, the company was contracted to provide software and servers support and consulting services for IPS.