Microsoft has won a major government contract to supply cloud email and messaging services to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The deal will see 120,000 USDA staff move over to Microsoft cloud services from 21 separate email systems that were maintained in-house.
"USDA's IT modernisation will allow us to streamline our operations and help us use taxpayer dollars more efficiently," said USDA chief information officer Chris Smith.
"With a focused cloud roadmap we saw a clear opportunity to achieve our cost savings and consolidation goals, and tap into the promise of the cloud."
The deal comes a week after Google won a major contract for cloud services with the General Services Administration.
Google had protested that it was not allowed to pitch for the USDA contract, and is taking legal action to ensure that it can bid for other government contracts.
"We were not given the opportunity to bid for USDA's business," a Google spokesman told Reuters.
"When there has been a full and open competition, customers have chosen Google Apps and taxpayers are saving millions of dollars."
USDA employees will get Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communication Server supplied by Microsoft as part of the company's Cloud Power product line.
"USDA's vision of maximising efficiencies and improving productivity across a vast enterprise through the cloud will be a model for large government agencies, " said Curt Kolcun, Microsoft's vice president of US public sector.
"With the Microsoft cloud productivity solution, USDA employees will benefit from better access to information, improved collaboration and information sharing. This comprehensive approach lays out a foundation for greater innovation, money savings and better citizen services."
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