General Services Administration (GSA) is going Google.

The Internet search giant announced on its official blog on Wednesday that as part of the key federal endorsement clinched by Google Inc.'s online software, the GSA will move 17,000 accounts of government employees and contractors to Google apps.

GSA's decision to switch to Google Apps resulted from a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process that took place over the past six months, during which the agency evaluated multiple proposals for replacing their existing on-premises email system, the blog said.

Google claimed that with this move, GSA will have modern email and collaboration to help the employees be more efficient.

By reducing the burden of in-house maintenance and eliminating the need to replace hardware to host its email systems, GSA expects to lower costs by 50 percent over the next five years. the company informed.

Earlier this year, Google apps became the first suite of cloud computing messaging and collaboration applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from GSA.

GSA had reviewed the documentation of Google’s security controls and issued an authorization to operate, the official confirmation of Google’s FISMA certification and accreditation.

Berkeley Lab, a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, has been using Google Apps to share documents that live in the cloud, and can view and edit documents and spreadsheets simultaneously working from the latest information.

GSA selected Google's integrator partner Unisys as the prime contractor to migrate all employees in 17 locations around the world to an integrated, flexible and robust email and collaboration service in 2011.

Now, Google Apps is planning to bring GSA a continuous stream of new and innovative features, helping the agency keep pace with advances in technology in the years ahead.

Recently Google filed a case against the Federal government, accusing it of favoring Microsoft by restricting opportunities for Google to bid for U.S Department of Interior contract. Microsoft got the $59 million Federal contract for its BPOS project.

Microsoft had also bid for the GSA contract, thus Google snatching the deal is a double whammy for Microsoft as it loses the cloud bid and also that currently most of the government offices use Microsoft Office suite products.