Microsoft Corp. will provide New York City with an array of computer services under a five-year agreement announced Oct. 20, a coup for the tech giant in its race against Google Inc. for municipal contracts, the Wall Street Journal reports. The agreement, unveiled at a City Hall news conference by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will consolidate all previous agency-by-agency service arrangements with Microsoft into a single citywide contract. The agreement is expected to save the city $50 million over five years. The previous arrangement “was complicated, cumbersome and needless to say not very cost effective,” said Mr. Bloomberg. “The economic downturn forces governments and companies to look and see whether what they’ve been doing is really necessary and to see if they can do those same things better or less.”

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura