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Google cries foul, Feds dump Microsoft cloud monopoly

Let the Google Apps, Office 365 cage fight begin

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Google is dropping its case against the US Department of the Interior over that organization’s refusal to consider any cloud-applications provider apart from Microsoft.

Google brought the case after it was excluded from bidding for the contract to provide cloud-app services to the DoI, which determined that only Microsoft’s online applications could be considered. The DoI's decision was apparently made due to concerns that the Google Apps service was not properly secure.

In the court ruling, Judge Susan Braden states that in light of advances in technology, the DoI has now agreed to consider new bids for the contract to supply cloudy office apps from Microsoft, Google, and others.

“The research that the Department of the Interior relied on in issuing the July 15, 2010 Standardization 'Determination and Findings' and RFQ No. 503786 is now stale in light of new developments in technology and entrants into the market,” the court filing states.

The move is a clear win for Google, which developed a version of its application suite, Google Apps for Government, specifically to tap into that lucrative market. The US government has said it is looking to transition away from on-premise software for its staff as an economy move, but Microsoft’s traditional strong foothold in the office-apps market has left Google with a mountain to climb.

The case also provoked a war of words between Redmond and Mountain View. Microsoft claimed that Google hadn’t met the security standards required for Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification, after which Google pointed out that as far as it was concerned, Microsoft didn’t either.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of our discussions with the Department of Interior, and look forward to the opportunity to compete for its business and save taxpayers money,” a Google spokesman told The Register. ®

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