Google Docs gets Department of Defense contract too, did Microsoft jump the gun?


Office 365 logo

The past week has been a  busy one for Microsoft — Windows 8.1 was released to the public, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 hit retail shelves and mobile partner Nokia announced the Surface competition, in the form of an 8.1 RT tablet — the 2520.  But not every ball seems to be bouncing in the favor of the software giant. The company has been left a bit chagrined this week by a seeming misstep with an Office 365 announcement.

On Monday, the PR firm responsible for the company image sent out an email blast announcing “passing along news of a big win for Office 365. Microsoft’s productivity solution has been approved for purchase by the Department of Defense.”

“..we are left to wonder which service actually landed the contract and which jumped the gun on an announcement.”

The announcement was accompanied by a linked blog post authored by Microsoft’s Kurt Colcun, Vice President of Public Sector. Colcun states “the U.S. Army PEO EIS has awarded 50,000 seats of Microsoft Office 365 to Microsoft and Dell for Cloud Services, including e-mail and calendaring, Office Web Apps, unified capabilities like Microsoft Lync, and collaboration tools like SharePoint”.

All of this sounds a like a big win for Microsoft and Office 365, but one day later Google’s Shannon Sullivan posted that “the Army’s rollout of Google Apps is part of a transformational program to improve collaboration, information sharing and mobile access for an initial group of 50,000 Army and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel. Leading the rollout is the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), which is responsible for providing infrastructure and information management systems to the entire U.S. Army”.

There is a rather obvious conflict here and WinBeta has reached out to both companies for comment. It’s no secret there is a competition between the services, and both wish to land the big contracts and make the big headlines. So far Microsoft has stated only that it is “looking into this question and hope to have an answer for you soon”, while Google has yet to reply. 

If a statement is issued by either company then we will update this story with the new information. For now, we are left to wonder which service actually landed the contract and which jumped the gun on an announcement. Stay tuned.