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Google Inc (GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Boston Switches

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been dominant in the enterprise with its Microsoft Exchange platform, which allows for collaboration, an e-mail network and storage for enterprise documents and data. It is this platform that has contributed to the profound success of Microsoft in the enterprise, and perhaps has kept Windows viable in the market as an operating system, despite some bumps in the road over the years. (Vista. Enough said?) While Microsoft has become the darling of many IT personnel in various private- and public-sector entities for many years, it usually is a pretty seismic shock to see an IT unit make a change.

Google Inc (GOOG)Considering the size of this change, seismic activity is likely to follow. It was announced Monday that the City of Boston, which has been one of those loyal Microsoft Exchange clients, will be moving its IT services for e-mail, collaboration and storage from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and its Apps platform. The news out on the heels of a couple of video ads that Microsoft produced, which took shots at Google Apps as notmaking the grade to meet enterprise needs. The city announced that 75,000 employees will be making the transition.

While the transition from the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) platform to the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) service will reportedly cost about $80,000 to the city, the city is estimating its overall savings could be in the range of $275,000-$200,000 per year.

“This decision represents an important step forward for the City,” said Bill Oates, the city’s chief information officer. “We want to equip all City employees with easy-to-use tools that allow them be more productive and innovative in their jobs, as well as a system that can scale to keep up with the City’s demands.”

Trying not to be a sore loser, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said in an e-mail response, “We believe the citizens of Boston deserve cloud productivity tools that protect their security and privacy. Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.”

What are your thoughts about this news? Do you think this is a significant step away from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), or may this be just a cost-cutting measure and not a reflection on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the quality of its Exchange alternative? If you have experience with either Google Apps or Exchange, let us know your feedback in the comments section below.