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Microsoft says all U.S. government customers are sanctioned to use Outlook Mobile

Microsoft's Outlook Mobile app for iOS and Android is ready for download and use by US Government Community Cloud and Department of Defense customers.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Microsoft's Outlook Mobile app for iOS and Android has met security and compliance requirements and is ready for deployment by all U.S. government customers, company officials said on January 15. This means Outlook Mobile can be used by U.S. Government Community Cloud (GCC) High and Department of Defense customers as of this week.

Today's announcement is yet another Microsoft government-compliance achievement ahead of the awarding of the $10 billion JEDI jackpot. Amazon and Microsoft are seen by many as the forerunners for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Pentagon cloud contract, the winner of which could be announced around April 2019.

In October 2018, Microsoft officials said the company was on track to achieve the Top Secret U.S. classified data (Defense Information Systems Agency Impact Level 6) certification by the first quarter of 2019. That certification is necessary for hosting the most sensitive and classified information. Officials didn't call out Outlook Mobile's certifications as a requirement for JEDI, but at this point, meeting every government-specific checkbox isn't a bad thing.

In order to meet this milestone, Outlook Mobile's architecture had to change. As of December 2018, it now uses native Microsoft sync technology, rather than a proprietary device API and REST API. Microsoft officials say the Microsoft sync protocol is meant to reduce latency and provide access to features like S/MIME as they roll out to the new architecture "over the coming months."  (Microsoft eventually plans to migrate all Outlook Mobile users to this new Microsoft sync technology.)

Microsoft announced it had achieved FedRAMP Moderate Compliance last year for Outlook for iOS and Android.

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