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Spread the News: Microsoft Office 365 Wins New York City

No Ray Ozzie? No problem! Actually, Ray Ozzie deserves a lot of credit for the contract Microsoft trumpeted this week: a deal with the City of New York that features online services and will include Office 365.

Take that, Google! The search giant beat Microsoft to win the battle of Los Angeles, signing the California city to a Google Apps deal late last year. Never to be outdone, though, Microsoft has snagged the big municipal prize, New York City. If anybody doubted it, Microsoft is relevant in the cloud now.

So, which Microsoft partner cleaned up in this New York deal? Uh, actually... Apparently, this was a direct-sales deal, and one that "unbundles" Microsoft's applications and services at that.

Well, now. Hopefully the direct-sales element isn't setting a precedent here. It might very well be, though, especially on the Web-services side. Microsoft has not hidden its plans to sell online services directly to customers. Now, we're seeing that plan in action.

How does it look, partners? Sure, maybe there will be some room for partners to provide services or add-ons here -- or maybe not. The details aren't clear; the contract isn't even final yet. But the news to start spreading on this New York deal seems to be both good and bad. It's great that Microsoft is winning high-profile cloud contracts; it's not so great to see that partners aren't necessarily part of them.

What's your take on Microsoft's New York City deal? Send your thoughts to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on October 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM