Google Cloud survey suggests government tech users want options

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Survey says: Choice.

An overwhelming percentage of U.S. and government workers currently use Microsoft products for their job, but a Google Cloud-commissioned survey released in November indicates nearly six in 10 of both sets of tech users want at least a choice to use non-Microsoft products.

In a blog post revealing the survey results, Google Cloud’s Head of Platform Amit Zavery said “76% of all workers nationally and 82% of workers in the Washington, D.C. metro area primarily use Microsoft products and services ,” including Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and OneDrive. Among government workers, those percentages run higher — 84% nationally and 92% in the Beltway area.

Citing the survey results, Zavery said a majority of workers “demonstrated a desire for” different tech tools.

“59% of government employees nationally, and an identical percentage from the D.C. metro area who use Microsoft at work, want a choice to use products other than Microsoft, according to the survey,” the post states. “Nearly half of workers believe there are other products and services that would allow them to do their job better. That number is even higher among government workers nationally (54%) and in the D.C. metro area (55%).”

According to the post, Google Cloud commissioned the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, which polled “2,000 working Americans nationwide and an additional 504 in the Washington, D.C. metro area.” Of the more than 2,500 surveyed, 411 were employed by federal, state or local governments.

The survey posed several questions to workers about their use of Microsoft products. For example, when asked if they believed the federal government’s reliance on Microsoft products and services made it more or less vulnerable to hacking or a cyberattack, 51% of all workers said ‘no,’ while 54% of national government workers said ‘yes.’

Approximately eight in 10 respondents in all subsets, however, agreed that tech companies ought to be held accountable for repeated breaches of software in the federal government. In the blog post, Zavery pointed to recent upticks in the use of Microsoft Teams among respondents over competing products, including Cisco WebEx, Google Meet and Zoom, as a possible “signal of how certain licensing practices can damage competition.”

Microsoft declined to comment for this story.