UK government switches to Google rather than Microsoft for cloud storage
The UK's HMRC -- the government department responsible for tax -- is switching allegiances in its choice of cloud storage providers. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is switching to Google Apps as more and more departments move away from Microsoft services.
Earlier in the year, the Cabinet Office and Department for Culture, Media and Sport ruled out using Office 365, but found Google offered more suitable collaboration options. As reported by The Register, the move illustrates the government's increased trust in Google's ability to securely store sensitive data offshore.
Microsoft has long been embraced by the UK government for its software needs, with millions of pounds famously spent on end-of-life support for countless official computers still running Windows XP. Just last week it was announced that no more payments would be made for extended support for XP machines, perhaps signalling the end of the Microsoft love affair as the government scrambles to reduce costs to deliver savings promised before the recent election.
A spokesman for HMRC said:
Following a successful pilot, we are planning to roll out Google collaboration tools to more people throughout HMRC later this year. We have carefully considered the protection of customer information and this remains our highest priority.
Google will no doubt be pleased at the news which comes as the search giant faces continued scrutiny in Europe. The company recently updated the way in which users are provided access to their security and privacy settings.