Cloud Computing Contract with Ties to Microsoft and Google Needs Changes, GAO says

October 17, 2011

A proxy battle between Google and Microsoft in their ongoing war to provide lucrative cloud computing services to the federal government appears to have resulted in a decision favoring Microsoft.

The General Services Administration, which is spearheading a contract program to help federal agencies use Web-based e-mail services, must rework the deal to better address terms that would have allowed technology firms to base computing centers in countries including Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, but not in more tech-friendly countries like Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a decision published Monday by the Government Accountability Office.

Two small contracting firms, Annapolis-based Technosource Information Systems and Reston-based TrueTandem, filed bid protests with GAO, arguing that GSA's deal would have allowed winning contractors to base their computing centers in the war-torn countries that GSA considers Trade Agreements Act-designated countries, but not in countries with developing tech sectors, like Brazil, India and South Africa, which are not considered TAA compliant. 

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