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Microsoft offers Office 365 build tailored for government

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Redmond has released a new build of its Office 365 cloudy productivity suite that's been specially hardened and certified for government use.

"Office 365 for Government is a new multi-tenant service that stores US government data in a segregated community cloud," blogged Kirk Koenigsbauer, VP of Microsoft's Office division. "Like other Office 365 offerings, it includes productivity and collaboration services including Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Professional Plus."

Earlier this month Office 365 got its Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification, which opens the door to many US government contracts, and the new build adds EU Safe Harbor and Model Clause compliance, as well as SO 27001 and SAS70 Type II certification.

By September Microsoft hopes to have full support for IPv6 added to the build, which should add to its attractiveness for government buyers thinking ahead, and no doubt Redmond will roll out country-specific versions directly or through its partner network.

With government spending on cloud applications on the increase, Microsoft is looking to cash in on a market where it has long enjoyed a strong position. It's currently facing an increasing threat from Google, who successfully challenged a Microsoft-only mandate in the bidding process for the 90,000 seat Department of the Interior cloud contract. ®

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