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Microsoft Introduces Office 365 for Government

Partners specializing in government solutions are getting another way to deliver the Microsoft stack to U.S. government agencies (or another way that Microsoft will compete directly with them in government accounts).

On Wednesday, Kirk Koenigsbauer, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Office Division, announced in a blog post the introduction of Office 365 for Government. While previous editions of Office 365 had government clients, the new edition is a multi-tenant service that stores U.S. government data in a segregated community cloud -- checking off a critical box for many government buyers.

Office 365, available for a year now, is Microsoft's cloud-based productivity solution, which includes Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online and comes with options to license Office Professional Plus on a subscription basis.

Koenigsbauer's government-focused blog entry also pointed to the many standards Office 365 supports. He cited ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor, EU Model Clauses, the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the U.S. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

He also previewed a few plans to augment the service in the next few months. "To meet evolving needs, we also plan to support IPv6 in Office 365 for Government by September of this year, and we're taking steps to soon support Criminal Justice Information Security (CJIS) policies," Koenigsbauer wrote.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM