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Microsoft Protests Google's Government Win

It's the old switcheroo, I tell ya! Folks in Redmond must sound like 1920s gangsters (or maybe 1850s gold prospectors?) when they discuss, no doubt in heated tones, Google's big cloud win with the General Services Administration.

Apparently (and this is a complicated story), the GSA, a U.S. government agency, stipulated that, among many other requirements, its cloud data must rest in data centers in the U.S. Microsoft responded thusly with a plan. Then Google, via Unisys, came in with a slightly different proposal that didn't include domestic-only data storage.

 The GSA must have liked the pitch because it decided that keeping its data on U.S. soil wasn't that important after all and revised its requirements. Google and Unisys won the bid, and Microsoft cried foul. At least that's what we think happened. The ins and outs of this story probably go much deeper than that.

Really, though, if we've learned anything here, it's that the cloud is still a mystery to many IT departments and that partners shouldn't shy away from making a few "suggestions" in their cloud proposals. If an organization as strict as a government agency can start rethinking federal law (which is what seems to have happened here) on what appears to be a whim, then a little creativity in a cloud pitch might not be a bad thing.

As for Microsoft's case in this little matter, well, it actually looks pretty solid to us. It's very possible that Redmond got hoodwinked. But such is the nature of business in bootlegging, gold prospecting and cloud implementations, we suppose.

Did the GSA pull a switcheroo on Microsoft? Sound off at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 12/06/2010 at 1:23 PM


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