GSA shuts down apps.gov

Kundra legacy crumbling in place
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The General Services Administration has closed an online storefront for software-as-a-service closely associated with former Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

The online store, apps.gov, was shut down "in an effort to provide streamlined customer service," GSA said in a statement, using language not dissimilar from its September 2009 announcement of the storefront's creation.

The agency says all services listed for sale on Apps.gov are available either through normal GSA schedule online purchasing websites, or for free on howto.gov. Asked for additional details, a GSA spokeswoman referred back to the statement.

The storefront was mainly the idea of Kundra and launched by a part of GSA, the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, which exists in great measure to carry out OMB initiatives.

Although apps.gov contained the offerings from heavy industry hitters such as Amazon Web Services, VMware and Google--more than 3,000 cloud-based products and services were available through it--apps.gov didn't prove popular with government agencies. The fiscal 2011 OSCIT annual report (.pdf) attributed sales of just $5 million through the site, but did note that it received "about 3,800 hits per month."

The site came under criticism for offering free applications side-by-side with multi-million dollar applications, the latter being complex purchases unlikely to be made by agencies through a storefront.

For more:
- read the GSA statement on apps.gov closure

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