The U.S. government says it will consider Google Apps as an alternative to Microsoft’s business productivity services and Office 365.
Google dismissed its lawsuit on Wednesday following the U.S. government’s decision to “update its market research” and consider Google Apps as a viable alternative to Microsoft’s business productivity solutions. Googled originally filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on October 29, 2010 for not considering Google Apps in its Request for Quotation (RFQ). The suit alleged that the DOI did not consider Google Apps when it put out a RFW to handle its email requirements.
The DOI is now preparing a new RFQ that includes Google Apps as an alternative. “We’re pleased with the outcome of our discussions with the Department of Interior, and look forward to the opportunity to compete for its business and save taxpayers money,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to Seattle PI on Wednesday. The DOI originally justified its restrictions to Microsoft only products due to the enhanced security features and unified features of Microsoft’s offerings. Google disputed the claims and provided examples of downtime issues and various problems with Microsoft’s BPOS service.
The claims lead to several public spats between Google and Microsoft over their online services. Microsoft claimed in early April that Google had lied about its U.S. government security claim. Microsoft said that Google had mislead its customers by claiming it has been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Google responded to Microsoft’s claims and described them as “false” and “irresponsible.”
Microsoft went on the attack in May by claiming that Google Apps contains a hidden “Google Tax” with its product. Tom Rizzo, senior director of Microsoft Online Services, who previously claimed Google is failing in the enterprise, revealed that Google Apps contains several hidden costs, especially when running Google Apps alongside Microsoft Office. Microsoft also posted a Office 365 vs Google Apps comparison earlier this year. The software giant created a mini-site to compare its Word Web App against Google Docs. Microsoft highlighted several inconsistencies when the same Word file is saved on Windows Live SkyDrive (or SharePoint) and Google Apps.
Microsoft welcome the news that Google is dropping its lawsuit against the DOI. The software giant issued the following statement:
“We are pleased the case has been dismissed, and that the Department of Interior can proceed to obtain the secure email system it needs. We are fully prepared to continue competing for the Department’s business and are confident that we offer the best cloud solutions and value.”