Cloud

Microsoft rolls out Office 365 for Government, notes privacy concerns

office-365-clouds

office-365-clouds

Not only is Microsoft serious about the cloud, but it’s also serious about keeping its customers in the government happy.

Today the company announced a new version of its cloud-based document software suite Office 365 for Government. Essentially, government version does everything its consumer counterpart does, including Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Office Professional Plus, and more.

“We also know that security and privacy play a big role in any decision to move to the cloud,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post announcing the new version. “Today, Office 365 supports the most rigorous global and regional standards such as ISO 27001, SAS70 Type II, EU Safe Harbor, EU Model Clauses, the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the US Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the US Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).”

By September, Microsoft said it plans to add support for IPv6 on Office 365 as well as support for Criminal Justice Information Security (CJIS) policies.

It’s in Microsoft’s best interests to start scaling out its Cloud based document service to compete with the likes of web-based Google Apps. VentureBeat’s Sean Ludwig previously pointed out that the service was perfect for smaller businesses, so targeting the government is a big step up. Also, the service will need to remain online without fail.

More importantly, Microsoft probably wants to hold on to all those government services that use the latest non-connected version of Office. If it can prove to the government that it’s a secure platform for which to share and collaborate on important documents, it could very well carry over to the business sector.