Google Apps for Government Meets Federal Security Standard - My guess is that this will hurt Notes with the US government...
From eWeek: Google Apps for Government Meets Federal Security Standard
Google introduced Google Apps for Government, accommodated by FISMA certification. FISMA is essentially the government's seal of approval of Google Apps as a secure cloud computing collaboration platform, something Microsoft lacks for its own cloud suites.
Google July 26 launched Google Apps for Government and earned a key security credit that makes its collaboration software for the cloud viable for federal agencies.
So now the Google cloud has gained government certification for security in their online offering.
However, unlike the standard, education and premier editions of Google Apps, Google Apps for Government has been awarded Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. government's General Services Administration.
FISMA calls for all information systems used by U.S. federal government agencies to have the utmost security. The GSA sports 15,000 e-mail accounts and oversees government procurement in the United States.
The article goes on to point out that the GSA has their email contract out for renewal at the end of the year. While they're on Notes right now, there's no guarantee that they'll stay that way.
My guess is that this certification and Google offering is going to have major ramifications on the Notes market within the federal government. At $50 per person per year, that's pretty cheap for email. And the argument surrounding the use of the cloud for government (and other) email has always been the security surrounding the email and storage thereof. If the offering is "certified", that will put off a lot of those arguments and make it that much easier to justify the decision.
Who knows what way the GSA will go? I'm sure (or should I say "I HOPE!") IBM and Lotus are in there pushing to make this a competitive save, but I must say that I am not overly optimistic that this will turn out well...