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Los Angeles Goes Google Apps With Microsoft Cash 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the cloudy-day dept.
Dan Jones writes "The Los Angeles City Council has approved a US$7.25 million, five-year deal with Google in which the city will adopt Gmail and other Google Apps. Interestingly, just over $1.5 million for the project will come from the payout of a 2006 class action lawsuit between the City and Microsoft (Microsoft paid $70 million three years ago to settle the suit by six California counties and cities who alleged that Microsoft used its monopoly position to overcharge for software). The city will migrate from Novell GroupWise e-mail servers. For security, Google will provide a new separate data environment called 'GovCloud' to store both applications and data in a completely segregated environment that will only be used by public agencies. This GovCloud would be encrypted and 'physically and logically segregated' from Google's standard applications. Has cloud computing stepped up to prime time?"
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Los Angeles Goes Google Apps With Microsoft Cash

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  • by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:22AM (#29909925)

    I thought "Microsoft Cash" was a new marvellous Redmond product I hadn't heard of.

  • Why segregate? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (gnauhc.mailliw)> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:22AM (#29909927) Homepage

    Are the government servers more reliable, or more secure than the regular servers? If that's the case, what does that say about the peons who don't have access to it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with the Federal Information Security Management Act, from TFA:

      Google has pushed Google Apps as an option for government agencies, promising to ship a product called Government Cloud, which will be certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), sometime next year.

      I would guess that some provision in it [wikipedia.org] requires segregated data servers, just in case the public consumer computer gets 'owned' by a cracker, that the government network is not instantly vulnerable.

      That's just guessing, it could be for any other number of reasons. IANAL, I am not a network engineer or security expert, and I only scanned the article to get some free, pointless, anonymous informat

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PalmKiller (174161)
        Government Security, bwahahaha, I love a good oxymoron Seriously folks, I am glad, as the inverse is also true. When the government segment gets hacked (and it will fairly quickly I suspect), our public network will be safe.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MikePo (579147)

      Without knowing the current Infrastructure that LA uses I can't say with certainty that Google will be less secure. However typical it is always more secure to keep your data in house than outsourcing that storage.

      While the LA spokesman says it will be more secure that our current solution. I'm sure he is a PR weenie and if you talk to technicians in LA they would disagree.

    • Re:Why segregate? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by oenone.ablaze (1133385) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:08AM (#29910685)
      Also, it sounds like multiple governments', or at least multiple government agencies' data are on the same cloud? I hope for Google's sake it doesn't get cracked, because pissing off one government sounds like no fun, let alone a handful of them.
    • Simple.
      Almost all higher ups in government for some reason have Law degrees and is currently or use to be lawyers. If there is a problem they will point their fingers down a chain of rube-goldberg like causes and effects until it hits someone Who has no one else to point too. Then this person who is usually just a public servant or a vender will take all the heat for a full chain of mistakes that caused some problem. So say gmail went down for 5 hours. Sure it is a mistake on googles part. However it is

      • Personally I feel that the blame for that one should definitely fall on the middle manager and his underling.

        If the underling didn't think to pick up the phone when email went down, his boss should have made him do it when he checked up on him (assuming at that point the email had then been down long enough to make it look like more than a 5 minute outage).

    • Re:Why segregate? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Schadrach (1042952) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @12:13PM (#29911769)

      It's probably a mix of FIMSA and public accountability/recordkeeping laws. Consider that one of the points made when Palin's Yahoo! email was "cracked" was that it was illegal for her to use that account for any kind of government business due to an accountability law in that state. Likely similar considerations are at the root of having a separate government cloud.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467)
      They're more reliable than the Microsoft Danger servers I believe. People are still reporting data loss on their SideKicks today.
  • HOLD UP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:23AM (#29909953) Journal

    Does this mean I will be losing some of the 7385 MB available for my inbox space? I'm already using a whole 1% of that!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      Still shows 0% for me :). I think I'm using like 44MB total.

      Google has to be using some compression or something though. My Lotus Notes mail file at work with a similar message volume is 600+ MB.

      I find it ironic though when they determined at work that we all needed to clean up our mailboxes in anticipation for a 250MB quota. Google manages to give me 7GB and with our own dedicated server our admin wants me to stay within 250MB. Something just seems wrong about that.

  • With the advancement of Google and open-source software, can we say that Microsoft has a monopoly on anything except its operating system?

    I'm not saying that the court decisions were wrong, but this article goes to show how a few years can change the landscape and just how far Google and open-source software has come.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by agbinfo (186523)
      If I understood this right, Microsoft was found guilty of using their monopoly in the OS sector to gain monopolies in other sectors. If they no longer have a monopoly in other sectors, this would reinforce the decision.
      • "If I understood this right, Microsoft was found guilty of using their monopoly in the OS sector to gain monopolies in other sectors"

        MS wasn't "found guilty" of anything because it was a civil -- ah forget it.

        So, what are these "other sectors" that MS now enjoys a monopoly in?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by agbinfo (186523)

          "If I understood this right, Microsoft was found guilty of using their monopoly in the OS sector to gain monopolies in other sectors"

          MS wasn't "found guilty" of anything because it was a civil -- ah forget it.

          Sorry if I didn't use the proper legal expression. I'm sure everyone understood.

          So, what are these "other sectors" that MS now enjoys a monopoly in?

          At the time they were found "guilty" of leveraging their monopoly in the operating system market to gain market shares in the browser market. Microsoft had essentially managed to gain a monopoly in the browser market. They could not have gained that monopoly without illegally leveraging off their monopoly in the OS market.

          The fact that they no longer have a monopoly in the browser market is an indication that the ruling had the

    • by Herschel Cohen (568) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:41AM (#29910227) Homepage Journal

      You neglect the effect of the close call that MS experienced that tempered, somewhat its proclivity for using the Mafia business model. Remember even under the W, supposedly MS was under judicial restraint. Those factors had to play a role in allowing competition to reappear*.

      * However, if you look at the netbook experience where Linux suddenly vanished (supposedly completely) from its initial dominance one can see hints that MS is probably back to its old game, but the environment has altered in the interim.

    • by slim (1652) <john@ha[ ]up.net ['rtn' in gap]> on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:01AM (#29910567) Homepage

      I think this is a step towards relieving MS of their monopoly, even on OSs.

      How long until LA city employees don't need Windows for anything. If everything they do is in the browser, they can use Linux (maybe in the guise of ChromeOS)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by webheaded (997188)
        Is it just me or have other people been noticing posts inappropriately modded as funny? I don't really see why anyone would mod this post funny...he isn't really trying to be funny and he isn't ironically funny either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman (862676)

      With the advancement of Google and open-source software,

      Oh yes, Google and Open Source Software... the kind of Open Source Software that's so secret they won't release the source code to.

      • by slim (1652)

        He said "Google *and* OSS". Two different things (although there's a slight overlap).

        • by dangitman (862676)
          Yes, but the question is why. Clearly it was to associate Google with OSS. But anybody who is informed knows that Google is not transparent when it comes to software.
          • by slim (1652)

            I don't think it wanted to associate Google with OSS, except to say that both represent competition for Microsoft.

            • by dangitman (862676)
              Well, I think it did. Microsoft has plenty of competitors, but Google is the main one that tries to associate itself with OSS for marketing purposes.
      • by odin84gk (1162545)

        With the advancement of Google and open-source software,

        Oh yes, Google and Open Source Software... the kind of Open Source Software that's so secret they won't release the source code to.

        I'm not saying Google is open source. I am saying that the successes of Ubuntu and Open Office, combined with the resources provided from Google, has created some competition for Microsoft.

    • by Miros (734652) *
      They still have quite a good lock on business productivity software (i.e. office). Nobody else even comes close to them on that. Google will probably continue to eat away at it for a long time but it does not look like it will tip away from Microsoft's favor in the near future. Don't forget, Microsoft has a ton of cash and they are probably not sitting on their hands waiting for Google to decapitate their cash cow.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by notaprguy (906128) *
      So Google has a few thousand customers - most of whom are also using Microsoft Office - and Microsoft is dead? Ok then...
  • Cloud? (Score:5, Informative)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:28AM (#29910029) Homepage Journal

    Has cloud computing stepped up to prime time?

    No. Someone's just getting a dedicated data center hosting scalable web apps. Nothing new.

    Of all the places on the interwebs, I would hope /. could refrain from the marketing babble.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Ha! Maybe you haven't seen the meme "You must be new here."
    • No. Someone's just getting a dedicated data center hosting scalable web apps. Nothing new.

      Truly. Can we stick this "cloud" shit in the heap with "information superhighway", "cyber", and "web 2.0"?

      • Re:Cloud? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Miros (734652) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:05AM (#29910627)
        "Cloud Computing" differs from "information superhighway," "cyber" and "web 2.0" in that it's not just a buzzword but an actual strategy shift in software development which is not only creating "marketing babble" but also directing an increasingly large share of global IT expenditures. This is a real fundamental shift away from traditional notions of the "Platform" away from operating system APIs and proprietary client/server applications to ubiquitous web/standards based applications and commoditized scalable third party provided infrastructure. Capital expenses are shifting to operating expenses, and whenever this much money changes focus you have to keep your head on straight and your eyes open.
        • Re:Cloud? (Score:5, Funny)

          by OakDragon (885217) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:54AM (#29911405) Journal
          Not to mention using advanced needs-based methodology to monetize the synergy created by reactive transitional functionalities, thus enabling a future-proofed maximized pricing structure!
        • by MobyDisk (75490)

          So it is a new term for something old. The only difference is that it is actually having an effect.

        • by dkf (304284)

          "Cloud Computing" differs from "information superhighway," "cyber" and "web 2.0" in that it's not just a buzzword but an actual strategy shift in software development which is not only creating "marketing babble" but also directing an increasingly large share of global IT expenditures. This is a real fundamental shift away from traditional notions of the "Platform" away from operating system APIs and proprietary client/server applications to ubiquitous web/standards based applications and commoditized scalable third party provided infrastructure. Capital expenses are shifting to operating expenses, and whenever this much money changes focus you have to keep your head on straight and your eyes open.

          I know what Cloud Computing is, but you managed to make my eyes glaze over with that babble.

          Cloud computing is like traditional managed hosting, except the basic management and accounting timescale is much shorter (i.e., you buy by the hour instead of by the month) and setup time is much shorter. That makes it immensely more flexible, which is very interesting to lots of people in the business world. Yes, it could have happened before; there was no real technical reason why not. But it isn't a technical rev

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Miros (734652) *
            Sorry about the babble, I've been getting used to writing that way. I agree that it's a business process revolution rather than a technical one, but I disagree that timescale is the whole story. I think the real meat on this one is in the economies of scale that can be enjoyed by the cloud services provider. This is also more of a hosted application situation than a flexible scaling situation, but the flexible scaling is important as it translates into significantly greater efficiency on the part of the
        • by selven (1556643)

          Could someone translate the above post to English please?

        • "Cloud Computing" is just web based thin client with the servers outsourced to a 3rd party who you then trust to run their services scalably. The reason it hasn't been done before is simply that it's batshit insane and before you added marketing hype you'd lose your job even suggesting something as asinine. You simply don't put your day to day operations at the mercy of yet another 3rd party (and unlike basic utilities these services aren't simple and service levels are a bear to negotiate).

  • My prediction. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:29AM (#29910035) Journal
    There will be a subset of users who will hate it, mostly serious Excel jockies and the extremely change averse, but on the whole it'll be pretty popular.

    The biggest thing is space. In my(admittedly modest; but definitely nonzero) experience, users really, really hate dealing with storage quotas and love doing things(like storing files in the form of email attachments) that bump them into quotas. Unless the LA IT guys were unusually generous, or their deal with Google unusually stingy, most user's quotas will probably go up substantially. Plus, with Google doc's sharing functions, there will hopefully be much less attachment clutter eating email quota space.

    Aside from heavy users of particular Office functions, who will almost certainly end up retaining local copies of office one way or another(whether it be official IT department policy, or local departmental budgets, or some other means), most people will probably care more about not bumping into quotas than anything else.
    • by J Story (30227)

      There will be a subset of users who will hate it, mostly serious Excel jockies and the extremely change averse, but on the whole it'll be pretty popular.

      Google Documents are still on the utilitarian side, but Spreadsheets are quite useful. They lack indentation (needed in accounting) and pivots, but add Google search capability and distributed sharing. For ad hoc management of numbers, it's quite convenient.

      This is not to take anything away from the OP's prediction, which sounds like a certainty.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sarhjinian (94086)

      There will be a subset of users who will hate it, mostly serious Excel jockies and the extremely change averse, but on the whole it'll be pretty popular..

      More people than you think will hate it. The average, desk-bound, minimum-wage Excel/Outlook jockey will bitch at any change. Note that these people bitch if you get them a new computer, or even if you move the coffee machine to a new room down the hall. They bitch at every change, every day, all the time. These people are, in a lot of organizations, far more pervasive than you might think.

  • Passing the Buck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _bug_ (112702) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:36AM (#29910157) Journal

    Has cloud computing stepped up to prime time?

    No.

    What it has done is given IT administrators the opportunity to pass the buck when there's a problem with a system. Now when the e-mail system goes down for hours and employees can't access crucial data, the IT admin simply points at Google and says "it's not my fault or my problem".

    That's all cloud computing offers. Unless you're a bit paranoid, in which case it also provides a single-point of attack for the government to eavesdrop under the banner of "keeping America safe".

    • by Miros (734652) * on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:11AM (#29910719)
      You're missing something more important here; it allows companies to shift costs from capital equipment to operating expenses which is HUGE from a business standpoint. Not to mention that it ultimately reduces the number of people needed to maintain these systems which is also very significant for large organizations. Reducing the costs involved is far more important than shifting the blame ever is; the people who make these kinds of decisions likely don't give a crap whose job it is to keep it up and running so long as it meets their needs and has a net positive impact on the bottom line.
    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Your cynicism is dead on, but maybe that is exactly why this is a good idea. At Slashdot, we get constant discussion about how IT departments are stupid. So maybe having a few really big data centers that are well run is better than this idea of every company having it's own data center and IT department. There just wasn't enough bandwidth to do this in the past.

    • by slim (1652)

      What it has done is given IT administrators the opportunity to pass the buck when there's a problem with a system. Now when the e-mail system goes down for hours and employees can't access crucial data, the IT admin simply points at Google and says "it's not my fault or my problem".

      In the long term, I'd guess there is no (local) IT admin. If an employee has an IT problem, they call Google directly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814)

      the IT admin simply points at Google and says "it's not my fault or my problem".

      I'm not sure who you mean by "the IT admin"? Is that like a buggy-whip maker?

      One of the big advantages that makes remote hosting with a standard application infrastructure (which is all "cloud computing" is in this context) attractive is that you get to fire most of your admins because you no longer have much in the way of in-house servers.

      One of the reasons why this is happening now is because after a decade of of living with

  • That would be like JK Rowling using her "monopoly position" on Harry Potter to overcharge for her books. They made it, they should be able to set the price for their product.
    • by mc moss (1163007) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:51AM (#29910415)

      No, actually it's nothing like that. Reading a book doesn't require anything proprietary and it doesn't have to work with other software, etc.

      But I'm sure you have more knowledge about the case than the judge who made the decision.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by brian0918 (638904)

        No, actually it's nothing like that. Reading a book doesn't require anything proprietary and it doesn't have to work with other software, etc.

        Neither does your OS. It wouldn't be good for business, but there's no requirement that the OS must work with anything else. How is your statement relevant to my analogy, again? It's like arguing that I've made a false analogy because JK Rowling is a woman and Bill Gates is a man - it's true, but irrelevant.

        But I'm sure you have more knowledge about the case than the judge who made the decision.

        If a judge correctly interprets an immoral law, does that make the law alright? Stop begging the question. I'm arguing what's right, not what's legal.

        • by omega_dk (1090143)

          You're right. Similarly, if Microsoft doesn't want to agree to the terms of doing business in the United States, where we require businesses to not behave in anti-competitive behaviour, they are perfectly free to take their business elsewhere.

          • by brian0918 (638904)

            You're right. Similarly, if Microsoft doesn't want to agree to the terms of doing business in the United States, where we require businesses to not behave in anti-competitive behaviour, they are perfectly free to take their business elsewhere.

            Begging the question. We're arguing what's right, not what's legal. There are immoral laws, and they should be overturned. That's what we're arguing. Or did you confuse this with a legal discussion board?

            • by omega_dk (1090143)

              So it's right for those with power to abuse it? Because that's the point of Antitrust - we as a society have decided that we value a competitive market more than a free market, so we took steps towards that. We have economic evidence that competitive markets are better for both consumers, corporations, and innovation than free markets. You are assuming that free = better, and therefore free = right. I see no evidence you're giving that that is correct.

              • by brian0918 (638904)

                So it's right for those with power to abuse it?

                Power, how? Political power? Economic power? Power to do what? To force you to buy their product? How do they force you? Do you believe you have a right to their product? What gives you that right?

                We have economic evidence that competitive markets are better for both consumers, corporations, and innovation than free markets.

                Since when do the ends justify the means? How do you justify the violation of rights in this non-free market.

                we as a society have decided that we value a competitive market more than a free market

                Who is this "we as a society"? When was this decision made, and where? I must not have gotten the memo about signing my rights away.

                Simply put, the fact that the current state exists does not make it mor

                • by omega_dk (1090143)

                  When did we give them the 'right' to a free market?

                  Or, to put it another way, when did we give them the right to remove *our* right to a competitive market?

                  This 'we, as a society' are the people of the United States who decided in the early 1900s to enact anti-trust laws, after seeing what lack of competition did to OUR (not their) economy.

                  Similarly, you are free to exercise your right to live in a non-competitive market by moving. If you want to enjoy the benefits of living in a competitive market, you ha

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  Given your political views, I can only suggest you emigrate to Somalia. In that paradise, there is no central government controlling the market, and people are make any associations they want, No society will take your rights away.

    • by IP_Troll (1097511) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:54AM (#29910453)
      The is the whole point of a "monopoly position", they didn't just make a product, they eliminated all other reasonable alternatives to their product, creating an artificially high price.

      Your JK Rowling analogy is missing the part where JK Rowling buys up every other publishing company, shuts them down, turns the book industry into a harry Potter monoculture, and makes Harry Potter the only book series on the planet aside from a few hold outs that have the creativity to write their own books.
  • Has cloud computing stepped up to prime time?

    I hear "cloud computing" discussed and wonder what it really means. It seems like it's just a notion of a server connected to many clients serving data to client applications (which isn't a new concept). However, my impression was that "cloud computing" was many clients connected to each other serving each other content.

    Let's see what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has to say about it

    Cloud computing services often provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

    Okay... cloud computing is "business application accessed from a web browser". Well, in the respect I think the deal might be a good step for

    • by slim (1652)

      my impression was that "cloud computing" was many clients connected to each other serving each other content.

      You're either thinking of P2P or mesh computing.

      Let's see what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has to say about it

      Cloud computing services often provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

      Okay... cloud computing is "business application accessed from a web browser". Well, in the respect I think the deal might be a good step for cloud computing.

      The Wikipedia page quite nicely sums up why it's more than just that: "This definition states that clouds have five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service."

      It's likely th

    • by Miros (734652) *
      applications running on a third party's server being maintained by a third party's employees. This is the first application of their new GovCloud, but I'm sure it wont be the last, and there is virtually no doubt that the resources that they had to create for this project can be utilized in supporting other similar applications. That means that unlike the service that may have been previously provided by the internal resources of the state costs to the provider are actually going to decrease over time on
    • by jhfry (829244)

      Cloud computing is the client-server model that everyone is used to... but where the "server" is distributed.

      There are significant advantages over a more traditional client-server model, even if the "server" is a cluster. Because the cloud is distributed geographically; 1. infrastructure outages are far less damaging to the application, 2. entire data centers can be taken off line and added at will, 3. power and cooling advantages can be used to keep costs lower, 4. Bandwidth utilization are distributed to

  • Gmail is not ready. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by skgrey (1412883)
    In a word, no, Google mail is not ready for primetime. They are not able to meet the SLA's required for a business, especially government work where the email system needs to be readily available. I would assume there is some extent of document management involved here, and if that's the case what happens when gmail goes down? I know government tends to move slowly, but this could seriously interrupt procedures - what if cases weren't tried in due time? Businesses and government use email for more than just
    • by godztempus (1081497) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @10:57AM (#29910517)
      "This GovCloud would be encrypted and 'physically and logically segregated' from Google's standard applications." I'm sure the gmail outages are the reason for this part. Physically and logically segregated means that if gmail goes down, GovCloud won't. If your exchange team had to manage the email for millions of users they would be having more outages then gmail.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Blasphemy! Obviously he's better than Google, and handles millions of users from his mom's basement using a server running on a classic Gameboy!

    • by slim (1652)

      I'm not pre-empting the answer, this is a genuine question and not an attempt to score points:

      Were paid Google Apps customers as badly affected as users of the free GMail service?

      Do big customers like LA City Council have more stringent SLAs?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fastolfe (1470)

      They are not able to meet the SLA's required for a business

      Citation needed. What theoretical "business-class" SLA are you holding Google to, and can you demonstrate that they haven't met it? Doing some hand waving about two or three outages this year, without quantifying how long they were, or what percentage of users were affected, is insufficient.

      but this could seriously interrupt procedures - what if cases weren't tried in due time?

      If unusually high availability of e-mail/documents is truly that import

  • I actually don't know the details of the suit or settlement associated with the three California counties suit against Microsoft using its monopoly position to overcharge for software, but I observe that the suit did not result in lower prices. They are pretty much still too expensive.

  • I run a small 200+ computer operation and had Google Enterprise call yesterday. We use their Postini service for spam and really like it. The sales rep on the line wanted to know if we were interested in their Apps product and had mentioned that Los Angeles recently switched to it. Call me traditional or old-fashioned, but I like having physical access to my data. I also like being responsible for ensuring our services stay up and running. If e-mail is down, I can fix it, instead of calling someone else
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Miros (734652) *
      I'm not from the LA IT department but I will say that I think the real feelings of the people making the decisions in the large organizations (business types, not necessarily IT types) are making those decisions based on cost analysis. Hosted/cloud services meet their needs and shift expenses from capital expenditures to operating expenditures (which is really important, smaller regular cost can be substantially better than large upfront cost from a financial perspective, even if the regular operating cost
    • by slim (1652)

      Call me traditional or old-fashioned, but I like having physical access to my data. I also like being responsible for ensuring our services stay up and running. If e-mail is down, I can fix it, instead of calling someone else to check it out for me. Several techs in our state from a recent meeting shared this sentiment as well.

      I guess you like it because it's your job, and if your job was reduced to passing questions onto someone else, you'd be redundant.

      Myself, I'd far prefer *not* to have physical access to my data. If I can have secure access to my data without having to worry about messy, space-consuming, power-consuming, attention hogging hardware, I'll take that thanks.

      • by Miros (734652) *
        not to mention purchase that hardware and replace that hardware regularly as it becomes obsolete or insufficient
  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @11:20AM (#29910881) Homepage Journal
    I love it, we finally will have open government. Just Google your local representatives name, and all the related email, documents, and maybe even web searches, will be there for users to browse. Transparency, accountability, and honesty. No more browsing on craigslist on taxpayers time. No more hiding behind the law.
  • once they have unfettered access to all Government documents and email...

    Do No Evil - ya right!
    • by Miros (734652) *
      that's actually a really good point. this is the first application of this system, and if they are able to prove it to be secure and reliable (possibly even more secure and reliable than many internally provisioned government datacenter resources) they will make a metric shit-ton of money. Think of all the other states that would also use the product once it has been vetted extensively through an application, not to mention the federal government itself. This is a huge test of faith, and if they pass, th
  • .....and then they'll be back to Exchange or Domino or GeeWhizz!

  • by bill_kress (99356) on Thursday October 29, 2009 @01:25PM (#29912981)

    Dear Microsoft:

    Forget the fact that you overcharge
    us, we can overlook that. You were
    counting on your monopoly to
    keep us as customers and that's not right.

    Your products, however, are shoddy and
    outside the realm of
    usability. We will switch to Google.

    Love,
        California

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