Feeds

Microsoft fluffs Feds with secure cloud

Google beater

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft has beaten rival Google to deliver a version of its online applications tailored for US government users.

This week, the company announced delivery of its Business Productivity Online Suite Federal, which updates the existing online suite with security, privacy, and compliance features.

The suite includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online.

Among the features are secured and separate hosting facilities access, to which is restricted to a small number of US citizens who have cleared rigorous background checks under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

The federal service comes as Microsoft said it had also updated the existing suite to meet other regulatory and service-level conditions. These included the Statement on Auditing Standard (SAS) No. 70 Type II, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 compliance, and the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) 27001 standard, among others.

Microsoft also plans to add two-factor authentication and enhanced encryption and to achieve the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification in the next six months.

Business Productivity Online Suite Federal comes ahead of Google's plan to deliver versions of Google Apps for US government departments and agencies. The company last September said it was in talks with government agencies over a deal on its services and working to ensure they meet regulatory requirements. Google was also working on achieving FISMA certification this year.

Ron Markezich, corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, said in a statement that Microsoft was first because of its experience in providing other online services. "We were able to achieve this industry first thanks to our experience providing dedicated cloud services for the past five years," Markezich said.

Government is emerging as an early adopter of cloud computing. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra sees cloud as a way to speed delivery of new IT and services to government at reduced cost. He last year launched an online store for government users to browse and purchase cloud applications while NASA Ames Research Center is building the Nebula infrastructure cloud to help serve up government data. Nebula is being built on the open-source implementation of Amazon's EC2, Eucalyptus. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?
Start migrating now to avoid another XPocalypse – Gartner
You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference
The piss always taking is he. Bastard the.
HANA has SAP cuddling up to 'smaller partners'
Wanted: algorithm wranglers, not systems giants
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.