Google Sues The US Government For Only Considering Microsoft Solutions

from the hubris dept

Eric Goldman alerts us to the interesting bit of news that Google has sued the US government -- specifically the Department of the Interior, for not seriously considering Google Apps when it put out a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to handle its messaging needs. Specifically, the DOI stated upfront in the RFQ that the solution had to be part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. Google is making the argument that this is "unduly restrictive of competition," and it seems like they've got a decent argument there.

Most of the lawsuit details the history of meetings and conversations between Google and the DOI, where Google sought to convince the DOI that its solution was acceptable. The DOI justified limiting its offerings to Microsoft, by saying that Microsoft had two things that other solution providers did not: unified/consolidated email and "enhanced security." Google disputes this (not surprisingly) and notes various problems with Microsoft solutions -- including well reported downtime issues. Google protested the RFQ when it was released, but the GAO dismissed Google's protest saying that since Google does not have a GSA schedule contract (i.e., what you need to sell to the gov't), it was "not an interested party." Anyway, should make for an interesting lawsuit if it goes anywhere...

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Working with FARS

    The problem is how the system is being used. Is it being used in Defense? There are DFARS requirements that need to be met. Is it non-defense? There are FARS requirements that need to be met.

    Does Google meet FARS requirements?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Acquisition_Regulation

    People love Google because they deliver software that simply works and has Easter eggs, but Microsoft got in a lot of trouble when they had "Easter eggs" in products in Microsoft Word because of FARS. As a result, they nixed the Easter Eggs.

    Google should keep the model they have, including Easter Eggs for Consumer market (We love them) but when it comes to working with Government acquisitions, it's a whole new ball of wax.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_eggs_in_Microsoft_products

    "Microsoft formally stopped including Easter eggs in its programs as part of its Trustworthy Computing Initiative in 2002"

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