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Los Angeles OKs Plan To Use Google Web Services

JACOB ADELMAN

LOS ANGELES (AP) ¿ City Council members tentatively approved a multimillion-dollar proposal Tuesday to tap Google Inc. for government e-mail and other Internet services, a boon for the Web giant as it seeks to wrest market share for office software from rival Microsoft Corp.

The Council voted unanimously for the $7.2 million deal with contractor Computer Sciences Corp. to replace many city computer systems with the so-called Google Apps services.

An amendment added shortly before the vote makes the contract contingent on Computer Science agreeing to pay a preset penalty if a security breach occurs. The contractor's project manager David Barber said he believed such an agreement would be reached.

The city's police officers' union and privacy advocates had raised security concerns over the Google contract because it places data online rather than on individual computers under the city's direct control.

Under the deal, Google will provide e-mail, calendar, online chatting and other services to 30,000 city employees.

The Council chose Google's offer over competing bids from Microsoft and more than a dozen other technology firms eager to score the nation's second second-largest city as a client.

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