Microsoft vs. Google: Battle for Government SaaS Supremacy

The launch of Google Apps for Government goes beyond just answering some lingering concerns about the cloud: it marks the birth of a new SaaS battleground between the search giant and their rivals at Microsoft. Here’s why.

Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite Federal (BPOS-F) is a cloud package designed to give the public sector Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Live Meeting. We covered BPOS-F’s capabilities in depth here when it launched earlier this year, but it’s intended to fill the same exact need as Google Apps for Government.

The difference, as All About Microsoft’s Mary Jo Foley notes, is that while BPOS-F sports a laundry list of supported federal compliance standards, it’s missing FISMA - the key to the entire Google Apps for Government sales pitch. It’s worth mentioning that Foley reports Microsoft is planning on adding that specific certification to their offering “very soon.”

Microsoft Online Services (which encompasses but isn’t limited to BPOS), says Foley, claimed more than 500 U.S. state and local governments as customers in February 2010.

Google’s got an uphill fight in front of them if they want to unseat Microsoft in the federal market. But one thing’s for sure: this is a battle that’s only getting started.

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