Google drops lawsuit as U.S. gov says it will consider it as Microsoft alternative

By Tom Warren, on 28th Sep 11 9:37 pm with 21 Comments

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.”

  • Ryno2Fifty

    Who can I call to warn the government against google apps?  We have it here at the University I work at and well…yeah.  “Oh, it didn’t show up on your calendar?  Your calendar is missing all kinds of appointments? hmm”  Is not an uncommon conversation around here.  Ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      It is only able to be considered now, that doesn’t mean they will actually choose to use it.

    • Guest

      You think maybe the customer is going to hold a grudge after Google called into question their ethics?

    • Ryno2Fifty

      Yes…which is hopefully just to make Google happy.  Like others have said, it is not ready for…well…anything.  This is from first hand IT support experience.

      It’s great for the admins of an IT department, they get to tell everyone that they are being fiscally responsible.  While all the actual support techs waste their time answering dumb questions where all we can really tell people is that it is out of our control…you get what you pay for (free to edu).

      The admins know it’s crap.  That’s why they won’t actually ask anyone on campus if they like it.  Not that im bitter or anything.

    • Anonymous

      True, which means that Google will simply cry foul again if they are not chosen. Google is a joke, especially when it comes to enterprise and IT. They have no customer support or service. In fact, I know of two companies that tried Google Apps, and ditched it because they could never get any support from Google. They couldn’t even get a response. 

    • Anonymous

      would be funny as heck if the DOI turns around and sues Google for security briches

  • Anonymous

    Google apps is good for businesses that only need basic email and basic word processing and sharing. Once you get past that office is better. We use google apps at work .

    • Anonymous

      Even then, there is no support from Google.

  • J A

    Google Apps is not what serious businesses should even be thinking about using at all. It is so incomplete and feature-less plus has numerous hidden costs and lacks anything enterprise. It is consumer-class at best.

  • Frylockns86

    Sound like sore losers to me.

  • Jimmybanks

    im a university student, and when we are working on a document as a group, google docs is the only choice, as 4 of us can simultaneously edit and work on the document.

    however, the irony is, we always copy paste it to microsoft word before printing, as the table of contents doesnt work correctly, and multiple features are half assed on google docs

    it is very useful, but not useful on its own.

    • mah

      You can do this in the Office 2010 Word client.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      they added in Office webapps that option.
      also you can use Word 2010 and edit simultaneously with people in office webapps.

  • Guest

    Winners compete. Losers litigate.

    Wasn’t that Google’s contention?

  • Anonymous

    While Microsoft “extorts” Android partners, Google extorts the US Government…

    • GP007

      Just what I was gonna say.  

  • Anonymous

    Now it’s just up to Dell, HP, and CDW to try and give the government good advice

  • ItsBetterUpFront

    - In response to some of the university comments.. Live@EDU is free from Microsoft.. Check it out. SkyDrive w/ Office 2010 is a great consumer option compared to Google Apps… If you use SharePoint with Office 2010 its even better… Add Exchange and it rocks!

  • GP007

    Haha, I just read the MS response to this, “We are pleased the case has been dismissed, and that the Department of Interior can proceed to obtain the secure email system it needs.”    Nice bot shot at gmail and Google docs in general.  lol.

  • Anonymous


  • MyNameHere

    Did Google even consider the outcome where the DOI ends up choosing MS once again?

    That will be embarrassing on multiple levels because then they can’t claim it was unfair, it ”proves” that MS’s offerings are better (they will probably highlight exactly *why* they chose MS), and Google just ends up looking like a spoiled little child that threw a tantrum when it couldn’t get its way.

    And do they really think they didn’t tick off the DOI with their childish lawsuit? Yea, I’m sure the DOI is falling over themselves wanting to work with those idiots in the future…