Well, I did say the competing cloud announcements from Microsoft and Google had been "tit-for-tat" this year when I wrote yesterday that Microsoft had announced it had signed a contract with SUNY to provide the schools [email protected], Microsoft's cloud-based productivity suite.
Information Week reports that Google is challenging Microsoft's claim to any sort of exclusivity with the university system, one of the largest in the country. Google says it's "misleading" to say that SUNY schools have "gone Microsoft" as many of its 64 campuses "remain up for grabs." According to Information Week, a Google spokesperson said that several SUNY schools have recently switched to Google Apps for Education and 10 more campuses are considering the move. For its part, Microsoft says 20 SUNY schools "are in various stages of [[email protected]] deployment, including proof of concept, piloting and testing."
This PR dispute between the companies ends a year in which they have competed for shares of the education market. It also follows closely on the heels of the Department of Agriculture's decision to select Microsoft for its cloud services, a bid process from which Google claims it was excluded.