Google stops US government from choosing Microsoft

By on January 8, 2011, 1:55 PM
Two months ago, Google sued the US government because it reportedly only considered Microsoft for a five-year e-mail services contract worth between $49 million and $59 million. Now, Judge Susan Braden of the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington has ordered the Interior Department to rethink its plan for its 88,000 employees and granted Google's wish for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft from winning the deal and receiving the contract on January 25, 2011.

In her ruling, the judge said Google showed that the Interior Department may have violated rules for competition in contracting and sent the matter back for reconsideration. The court, of course, made no judgment on whether Microsoft was the right supplier for the contract.

"Without a preliminary injunction, the award will put into motion the final migration of Interior's e-mail system, achieve 'organizational lock-in' for Microsoft, and cost Google the opportunity to compete," the judge wrote in a 27-page decision. "The court ... discerns no basis in the present administrative record to support Google allegations of bad faith. Likewise, the court discerns no improper conduct by Microsoft, the actions of which show only competitive zeal and interest in customer satisfaction."

"As a proponent of open competition on the Internet and in the technology sector in general, we're pleased with the court's decision," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Google's original argument was that the government's proposed terms were unfairly designed against it, arguing that the Interior Department only considered proposals based on Microsoft technology.





User Comments: 40

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princeton princeton said:

This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough shit google. They should have no right to interfere with that.

Guest said:

I think the issue is that it was the government which was only considering MS. What private businesses do is of no matter to the public sphere.

princeton princeton said:

I think the issue is that it was the government which was only considering MS. What private businesses do is of no matter to the public sphere.

It still isn't their business. What I want to know is what did google say to the courts? Maybe something like...

"NOOOO! OUR MONOPOLY IS JUST AS GOOD AS THEIR MONOPOLY! HOW DARE YOU IGNORE US!"

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Here's how it's going to go:

"Ok Google, we'll consider you (*5 second pause*). Ok Google, we considered you and decided to stick to Microsoft."

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

The U.S. government has bid contract rules it is SUPPOSED to follow.

If this particularly government entity followed the rules, then Google would have been considered. Since they were not, Google has every right to whine and b$%#.

Google didn't make the government's rules... They are merely trying to use them to their advantage just like any company would.

gobbybobby said:

This is one of the most stupid things I have read about this year. (year is young, lets see what other crap happens)

princeton princeton said:

gobbybobby said:

This is one of the most stupid things I have read about this year. (year is young, lets see what other crap happens)

So I guess you didn't read about how the hHD 6990 is going to crush anything nvidia will make :P

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Rick said:

The U.S. government has bid contract rules it is SUPPOSED to follow.

If this particularly government entity followed the rules, then Google would have been considered. Since they were not, Google has every right to whine and b$%#.

Google didn't make the government's rules... They are merely trying to use them to their advantage just like any company would.

I'm with you on that. Bidding is a long cherished part of sucking on the taxpayers teat, has to be followed even if it a sham. Most gov't contracts are probably decided ahead of time anyway, probably why the company in question paid to elect given official.

gobbybobby said:

Princeton said:

gobbybobby said:

This is one of the most stupid things I have read about this year. (year is young, lets see what other crap happens)

So I guess you didn't read about how the hHD 6990 is going to crush anything nvidia will make :P

no not read that! lol.

Guest said:

The Usual US problems. An american dream.

I think lotus notes will win :P

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Princeton said:

This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that.

Tell that to the EU Regulatory Board. They forced Microsoft to Include a Ballot system when selling copies of Windows in Europe to allow people to choose their web browser right after installation.

Google's mission statement is essentially "do no evil", but "all's fair in love and war" when it comes to other companies/corporations. =p

Guest said:

I think lotus notes will win :P

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry about this comment. =p

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Princeton said:

This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough shit google. They should have no right to interfere with that.

It's like you're an advocate for discrimination. Does your hypothetical company also restrict employment by gender and race?

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Princeton said:

gobbybobby said:

This is one of the most stupid things I have read about this year. (year is young, lets see what other crap happens)

So I guess you didn't read about how the hHD 6990 is going to crush anything nvidia will make :P

Actually wasn't it the 6970 that was going to CRUSH the GTX580? Now it's but but but the 6990!

Det Det said:

Ehm, how can some people just not understand ? Of course Google _does_ have a right to complain about this because this is about the US citizens too, for chrissake.

"They should have no right right to interfere with that". You become a corporation and then come back to tell that at my face when you just lost a competition to the rival company without even being included in the decision making.

And the point is not about choosing one over the other (which might, of course, happen for Microsoft's advantage in the end anyway) - it's about choosing one without even thinking of the other.

Guest said:

People seem to be confusing business with government agencies, again.

If you have a private business, you're free to consider whatever product you want from whoever you want. The responsibility for that decision rests solely on you.

With a publicly-owned business, stockholders (the actual owners of the company) have a say on major deals (such as this) that would affect the entire company. Continually blowing them off is an easy way to get yourself... well... "removed" from your position.

Government is somewhat the same thing. The people are essentially the stockholders, and because most people have the attention span of a hamster, certain rules get put up to safeguard the public interest. Competition is one of those interests, and just handing off the contract to Microsoft despite other companies having viable e-mail offerings runs contrary to those interests.

You can argue back and forth over comments and forums as to whether Microsoft would actually provide better service and for a reasonable price point, but that's exactly what the whole deliberation and bidding process is supposed to encompass. All of which apparently didn't happen.

Cota Cota said:

Good job Skyne... Google, show them no mercy.

princeton princeton said:

sarcasm said:

Princeton said:

gobbybobby said:

This is one of the most stupid things I have read about this year. (year is young, lets see what other crap happens)

So I guess you didn't read about how the hHD 6990 is going to crush anything nvidia will make :P

Actually wasn't it the 6970 that was going to CRUSH the GTX580? Now it's but but but the 6990!

A dual gpu beating a single gpu? That's totally fair. In case you can't tell what I'm doing just check what your username.

princeton princeton said:

PanicX said:

Princeton said:

This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that.

It's like you're an advocate for discrimination. Does your hypothetical company also restrict employment by gender and race?

That's ethically wrong, this isn't. You need to rethink your comments because a comparison needs to be apples to apples. Also I find you accusing me of being sexist and racist EXTREMELY offensive and inappropriate, thanks so much.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Princeton said:

You need to rethink your comments because a comparison needs to be apples to apples.

This is getting heated enough without bringing Apple into this. =)

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Princeton said:

PanicX said:

Princeton said:

This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that.

It's like you're an advocate for discrimination. Does your hypothetical company also restrict employment by gender and race?

That's ethically wrong, this isn't. You need to rethink your comments because a comparison needs to be apples to apples. Also I find you accusing me of being sexist and racist EXTREMELY offensive and inappropriate, thanks so much.

I'm thinking what you consider ethically wrong is a shaky ground of inconsistency. I'm glad you find sexism and racism offensive, we have common ground there, although, I in no way accused you of these things. I specifically mentioned forms of discrimination, or "unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice", which your "I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google." would also stand to this definition. I would expect that the concept is easier to recognize as morally lacking when contrasted against other forms of discrimination, but maybe I put too much thought into my comments for your liking.

Guest said:

Maybe the point here is that Google DOES NOT have a product that can provide the same level of services that Microsoft can (i.e. Exchange)?

Sure Google has an email service, but that's cloud-based. This is the government fer cryin' out loud. Email has to be on a secure server/site.. even local.

Now if Google can provide them with an enterprise GMail locally on-site, then sure, bring in Google.

But as it is, Microsoft is leading this market segment, hence they won the contract.

Or am I going the wrong way here?

Saintnsinner said:

I'm very disapointed in you Google. What's next are you going to sue me because I prefer a Windows based Tablet PC?

mailpup mailpup said:

The bidding process for providing goods and services to government is the correct way to go but, as a side note, the process can be so onerous that some otherwise worthy companies do not bother to bid, particularly if the amount of money involved is relatively small. A bid is not just a sheet of paper with a few figures on it. It is small book consisting of the response to the proposal (which itself is a small book), the company's qualifications, the individuals involved and their backgrounds and qualifications, legal requirements such as company non-discrimination policies, and a host of other requirements. It is bureaucracy at its finest.

I once wrote a request for proposals (RFP) on behalf of my city department and received no bids. When I asked one of the potential companies why they did not bid, they said they didn't have the resources to respond to the complexities of just the standard provisions (boilerplate) of the RFP much less the main point of the proposal.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If a Judge thought it was out of order...Then it's out of order. Laws the law.

I agree with Google challanging the government.

Guest said:

If you ran a private company and wanted to hire your nephew's IT firm to set up your company's IT systems then that would be fine. But don't you think there would be something wrong with that if the private company was replaced by a national government? These rules are in place to prevent corruption and nepotism and get the best value for the taxpayer, sure they're probably not perfect, but it's clearly preferable to Princeton's idea that the government should be able to hire whoever they want (with taxpayer money, I might add) for any reason, and it's no-one else's business, that's just naive lunacy.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

PanicX is right, Princeton. You're making a fool of yourself.

Hes right in accusing other members of being racist and sexist? He's lucky I didn't call the mods on that one for gods sake.

If he feels that I'm incorrect then fine. The whole basis about why I don't feel google should be able to do this is that google simply provides an inferior service.

WHA-BAM. Not so foolish now.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Saintnsinner said:

I'm very disapointed in you Google. What's next are you going to sue me because I prefer a Windows based Tablet PC?

Not you, the OEM manufacturers for only putting Windows on their tablets (rather than a Google OS). I guess it wouldn't matter anyways since compared to the government, most others are small fry. =p

gwailo247 said:

Princeton said:

You need to rethink your comments because a comparison needs to be apples to apples.

This is getting heated enough without bringing Apple into this. =)

Possibly the best comment in the thread. =)

edit: Blame the fixed width comment area, but it seems you can only have around 3 nested quotes before it becomes essentially unreadable, so I humbly request those having their 'internetargument' to limit the number of quotes they nest.

yRaz yRaz said:

Guest said:

.WHY DOESN'T OUR GOVERNMENT USE A MAC?? WOW WHAT A THOUGHT, NO VIRUS PROTECTION NEEDED, NO HACKERS, I DON'T THINK..I USE ONE AT WORK, BUT SILLY ME I HAVE A PC AT HOME AND SPEND HUNDREDS ON IT EACH YEAR........WHAT A BRAIN STORM SHOULD I WRITE OBAMA? WOULD IT EVEN MATTER? DEALS ALREADY IN PLACE...

HATS OFF TO YOU GOOGLE!!!!!

TINA CARR, LAKEWOOD, CA.

I think the caps say it all for me, but just in case they don't:

Macs DO have viruses and, let me tell you, if the US government used macs there would suddenly be TONS more of them. We have AV and firewalls that have been tested and debugged for years. I'm sure a PC AV that is made to stop 100 attacks a day is better than a Mac av made to stop 2-3 a day.(i made those numbers up, but you get the point)

How do you spend hundreds on your PC a year? I mean I spends ~$600 a year on my computer, but that is because I'm always upgrading it. I'm sure if I wanted to upgrade a mac as much as my PC(which I can't because of how proprietary they are.) it would cost me MUCH more than that.

You also mentioned Obama. I'm not sure why you mentioned his name, but with the recent assassination I'm sure it is wise to hold your mouth on politics.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

yRaz said:

I think the caps say it all for me, but just in case they don't:

Heh heh..Good one!

princeton said:

He's lucky I didn't call the mods on that one for gods sake.

You actually have to call them?..So they don't just protect people automatically?..

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

As for the article, as long as the government is able to do enough research and write up a descent spec (defining functional,security and support requirements, etc.) they SHOULD be able to bid it out and go with the company with the lowest cost. Microsoft doesn't deserve preferential treatment, and neither does Google. Competition is essential in any market.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Hes right in accusing other members of being racist and sexist? He's lucky I didn't call the mods on that one for gods sake.

If he feels that I'm incorrect then fine. The whole basis about why I don't feel google should be able to do this is that google simply provides an inferior service.

WHA-BAM. Not so foolish now.

Call whoever you want, you've apparently decided being offended is preferable to reading comprehension.

If you were actually arguing that Google provides inferior services, then I'd have no complaints about your comments, whether I agreed with them or not. But what you were IN FACT arguing was that the government should be allowed to violate their own contract bid laws and intentionally deny competitive bids that were not supplied by Microsoft. Or how I was looking at it, discriminating contract eligibility against non-microsoft bids.

If it was the case that all policies were followed and Microsoft won the contract legally, there wouldn't even be a news story about it.

Guest said:

This is one of the many problems of the US government. They contract everything they do to the first bidder, they pay extremely high amounts and lack any fiscal responsibility. What does the government care? Taxpayers will pay for it.

yRaz yRaz said:

Guest said:

This is one of the many problems of the US government. They contract everything they do to the first bidder, they pay extremely high amounts and lack any fiscal responsibility. What does the government care? Taxpayers will pay for it.

And might I ask, what side is fiscally irresponsible?

maestromasada said:

can someone pls delete this article??? is totally out of order. Soon we're gonna be sue for using Bing instead of Google!

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

maestromasada said:

can someone pls delete this article??? is totally out of order. Soon we're gonna be sue for using Bing instead of Google!

The difference being that google and microsoft essentially switch places when it comes to search engine usage, so your statement does not make much sense. =p

Guest said:

To Princeton:

"This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that."

So you're ok with your tax money being spent with total disrespect for any notion as competition, free market, and so on.

This whole problem is not about the product itself, but about the process of selecting the provider of that product. Which doesn't quite live up to the notion of a democratic society, and frankly smells like ****.

Do you have any guarantee that Google or any other provider for that service won't do the job cheaper? No. Because they weren't even considered.

yRaz yRaz said:

Guest said:

To Princeton:

"This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that."

So you're ok with your tax money being spent with total disrespect for any notion as competition, free market, and so on.

This whole problem is not about the product itself, but about the process of selecting the provider of that product. Which doesn't quite live up to the notion of a democratic society, and frankly smells like ****.

Do you have any guarantee that Google or any other provider for that service won't do the job cheaper? No. Because they weren't even considered.

your side is the fiscally irresponsible one! I'm glad fox "news" gave you so many talking points. This is assuming you're Tina from CA.

princeton princeton said:

yRaz said:

Guest said:

To Princeton:

"This is ridiculous. Nobody should be "required" to consider a certain company. If I own a business and I only consider MS not google, well tough **** google. They should have no right to interfere with that."

So you're ok with your tax money being spent with total disrespect for any notion as competition, free market, and so on.

This whole problem is not about the product itself, but about the process of selecting the provider of that product. Which doesn't quite live up to the notion of a democratic society, and frankly smells like ****.

Do you have any guarantee that Google or any other provider for that service won't do the job cheaper? No. Because they weren't even considered.

your side is the fiscally irresponsible one! I'm glad fox "news" gave you so many talking points. This is assuming you're Tina from CA.

I lol'd. Also if it is Tina she should know she is a danger to society with her idiocy.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

I think google is starting to become a real B*TCH when it comes to disputes. Facebook, HTML5 thing, all this other crap is starting to piss me off. They need to go back to their plan as staying in a corner and doing what the public wants them for: surfing the web.

Guest said:

US goverment is not a private company.Public owned.See your pay check tax deduction if you have forgotten.Gov can't make us all play fair if they do not.

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