RDN Express Blog

Blog archive

Cloudy Battle in Los Angeles: Microturf vs. Googzilla

An epic battle is brewing out West with much more than a lucrative technology contract at stake: Microsoft Office or Google's cloud?

As the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, Microsoft and Google are bidding for a $7.25 million contract to replace the city of Los Angeles' outdated email system. Los Angeles put out a call for bids in 2008. "Google Apps got the nod because city administrators believed it would be cheaper and less labor-intensive," writes LA Times reporter David Sarno.

We all knew this day of reckoning was coming. For Microsoft, the fight to hold on to its Office base is on. Google Apps, the Web-based office suite that includes the viral Gmail, promises less overhead and potentially big savings to fiscally strapped cities, corporations and college campuses.

In addition to dispatching teams of lobbyists, both Steve Ballmer and Eric Schmidt have offered to put in appearances at city hall, if city officials think it will help, according to a city councilman quoted in the article.

The LA Times article underscores the broader significance of winning these potentially game-changing contracts:

As the battle plays out in executive suites and information technology departments around the U.S., the outcome could determine whether businesses continue to store software and data on their own computers, as most do now, or allow companies such as Google to store it all online in the so-called digital cloud.

"This is a story of two very large companies going head to head in a battle for the future of the heart and soul of the technology world," said David B. Yoffie, a dean and professor of business strategy at the Harvard Business School. "If Google wins, the way that we look at our day-to-day computing will be 100% focused on the cloud."

Issues raised by Microsoft reps and others involved in the fight for fiscal dollars swirl around reliability –- that recent Gmail outage was a godsend -- data security and questioning the actual cost savings. These same concerns will be front and center as developers and their employers evaluate whether to host applications on-premise, off-site or some combination. What strategies should companies employ to make the most of their resources as Microsoft's cloud and others become viable solutions?

Can Microsoft seriously play both sides of the fence in these battles when it is commercializing its own Azure cloud in November? Express your thoughts below or drop me a line at [email protected]

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 09/29/2009 at 1:15 PM

comments powered by Disqus


  • Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.9 Ships with .NET 6 Preview 1 Support

    During its Ignite 2021 online event for IT pros and developers this week, Microsoft shipped Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.9, arriving with out-of-the-box support for .NET 6 Preview 1, which the company also released recently.

  • Analyst: TypeScript Now Firmly in Top 10 Echelon (Ruby, Not So Much)

    RedMonk analyst Stephen O'Grady believes TypeScript has achieved the rare feat of firmly ensconcing itself into the top 10 echelon of his ranking, now questioning how high it might go.

  • Black White Wave IMage

    Neural Regression Using PyTorch: Training

    The goal of a regression problem is to predict a single numeric value, for example, predicting the annual revenue of a new restaurant based on variables such as menu prices, number of tables, location and so on.

  • Microsoft Ships Visual Studio 2019 v16.9 Servicing Baseline Release

    Microsoft is urging enterprises and professional coders to standardize on the new Visual Studio 2019 v16.9, a servicing baseline release that's guaranteed to receive official support for an extended period.

Upcoming Events