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Google Debuts First Secure Cloud Apps for Gov't

Google, Microsoft and IBM are all fighting to land the next wave of monster government IT contracts to ensure their economic prosperity through the rest of the decade. But to do it, they need to prove their applications are cheaper than existing options and, more important, as secure as possible.

As Datamation reports, Google took a big step in that direction this week with the launch of new edition of Google Apps that lets government agencies take advantage of the convenience of Web-based apps but also meet the government's latest and most stringent security requirements.

"I think this is indicative also of our commitment to the federal marketplace," Mike Bradshaw, director of Google's federal division, said of today's launch.

"We're excited about this announcement and the benefits that cloud computing can bring to this market. The president's budget has identified the adoption of cloud computing in the federal government as a way to more efficiently use the billions of dollars spent on IT annually," he added, noting that the government spends $450 million in electrical costs alone to run its servers and data centers.

The government version of Google Apps features the same pricing and services as the premier edition, including Gmail, the Docs productivity suite and the Talk instant-messaging application.

WASHINGTON -- Google is taking what it sees as a major step forward in its efforts to drive cloud computing in the government, releasing on Monday a version of its hosted suite of applications that meets the primary federal IT security certification.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) touts the new edition of Google Apps, nearly a year in the making, as the first portfolio of cloud applications to have received certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

"We see the FISMA certification in the federal government environment as really the green light for federal agencies to move forward with the adoption of cloud computing for Google Apps," Google Business Development Executive David Mihalchik said this morning in a meeting with reporters.

Read the full story at Datamation:
Google Launches Cloud Apps for Government