Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Nov 2010 23:36 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Google That is without a single shred of doubt the most awesome headline I ever got to put on OSNews. This headline is so awesome I don't even need to write anything else, because it would just detract from the awesomeness. Cue Johnny Guitar, with a lone wanderer riding his horse towards a Mojave sunset, after just having... Wait, where were we? Right. Yes, Google has sued the US Department of the Interior because its Request for Quotation regarding a messaging solution demanded the use of Microsoft software.
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Go Google!
by cmost on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:07 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

As a long-time Linux user, I too get irritated by the constant assumption that everyone is using Windows or the Mac. There ARE other options...

Reply Score: 9

RE: Go Google!
by Valhalla on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:23 UTC in reply to "Go Google!"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Heh, sticking it to the man! Too bad it's Google doing it and not Richard Roundtree...

'You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother-'

-Shut your mouth!

'But I'm talkin' about Shaft'

-Then we can dig it!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Go Google!
by tomcat on Thu 4th Nov 2010 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Google!"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Sticking it to the man? Um, dude, Google IS the man, now.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Go Google!
by Shannara on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:47 UTC in reply to "Go Google!"
RE[2]: Go Google!
by ricegf on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Google!"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I realize that you are just trolling, but you really should get out more. In the corporate world, IT sets up both Windows and Linux - both "just work". Do you seriously think they give the end user a stack of CDs and an instruction manual? :-D

Reply Score: 10

v RE[3]: Go Google!
by Shannara on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Go Google!"
RE[2]: Go Google!
by imthefrizzlefry on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Google!"
imthefrizzlefry Member since:
2010-10-28

Six or seven years ago, I would have said you have a point; however, in the past several years, this has changed dramatically. There are very few things that are easier to do in Windows than in Linux.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Go Google!
by Laurence on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Google!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yes, and they want to the product to be able to ... you know .. just work ... Linux is not known for providing that basic feature.

Tell that to organisations such as the London Stock Exchange are switching from MS technology to Linux because Windows Server, SQL Server and .NET caused outages and epic response times where as Linux not only worked, it flew.

In fact, I could list a dozen examples just like this, but I wouldn't expect someone with your shrewd experience of enterprise IT infrastructures to care about the real world usage of small set ups like the LSE.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Oh Bovine Scatology!
by gfolkert on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Go Google!"
gfolkert Member since:
2008-12-15

I've had Linux running as my primary Desktop for at least 6 years and really as long as 11.

Its *just worked* for me since then. I've had various machines including Laptops and Desktops and Servers. You've obviously not *used* a recent Linux Installer or Linux Distribution aimed at simpletons like you are purporting to be, via spouting off like this.

Go and install Mint Linux and get back to me.

Of course I realize you have the Latest--newest--non-disclosed, non-supported by the Vendor for Linux devices in your computer. Which means its not going to work...

When was the last time you actually installed Windows and didn't need drivers for these exact same things and You expect a Linux distribution to be any different?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Oh Bovine Scatology!
by Ackthpt on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh Bovine Scatology!"
Ackthpt Member since:
2010-11-02

What does this have to do with Google suing the US govt?

Nada - zippit, both of you.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Go Google!
by tomcat on Thu 4th Nov 2010 20:58 UTC in reply to "Go Google!"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

As a long-time Linux user, I too get irritated by the constant assumption that everyone is using Windows or the Mac. There ARE other options...


As a self-professed long-time Linux user -- like apt get 'latest-crappy-build' -- I'm sure that you're busy with a lot of unrelated distractions ...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Praxis
by Praxis on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:33 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

These type of lawsuits seem fairly common against governments. You would think that they would learn to not list a particular company by name when letting companies bid for contracts. A competitor who you leave out always sues you.

Edited 2010-11-02 00:34 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Praxis
by WorknMan on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by Praxis"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

These type of lawsuits seem fairly common against governments. You would think that they would learn to not list a particular company by name when letting companies bid for contracts. A competitor who you leave out always sues you.


And it begs the question... would they have to try every single vendor option before deciding on one of them? I mean, if there were five different offerings for whatever software package they were looking at, if they tried the first three and decided that the 3rd one had everything they needed, would they get sued for not trying the last two?

Edited 2010-11-02 00:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Praxis
by Delgarde on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Praxis"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

And it begs the question... would they have to try every single vendor option before deciding on one of them? I mean, if there were five different offerings for whatever software package they were looking at, if they tried the first three and decided that the 3rd one had everything they needed, would they get sued for not trying the last two?


Almost certainly, since the last two might also provide everything they need, for half the price. In which case not only would the last two vendors have reasonable grounds to claim a biased process, but you'd end up with complaints over misuse of tax funding.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by Praxis
by Neolander on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Praxis"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

And it begs the question... would they have to try every single vendor option before deciding on one of them? I mean, if there were five different offerings for whatever software package they were looking at, if they tried the first three and decided that the 3rd one had everything they needed, would they get sued for not trying the last two?

Almost certainly, since the last two might also provide everything they need, for half the price. In which case not only would the last two vendors have reasonable grounds to claim a biased process, but you'd end up with complaints over misuse of tax funding.

Exactly. When you're making government-wide contracts that involve 10.000 software licenses, you *really* have the time to test all of the five available before and consider the costs and the benefits very carefully, because involving that amount of people to use the same software for a long time should not be done lightly (and preferably not favor big monopolies either).

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Comment by Praxis
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Praxis"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

and preferably not favor big monopolies either

Without any solid basis you mean, right? Because there are cases where getting a Mac or Windows systems will be a logically better solution...
(And I'm saying that as an MS hater...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Praxis
by Neolander on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Praxis"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

and preferably not favor big monopolies either

Without any solid basis you mean, right? Because there are cases where getting a Mac or Windows systems will be a logically better solution...
(And I'm saying that as an MS hater...)

That's what I meant by "preferably". It really should be avoided, especially on such big contracts, but sometimes you just can't do without.

Edited 2010-11-02 22:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Praxis
by ricegf on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Praxis"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Um, why not write the RFP to specify the functions needed, and then only evaluate the software packages that are proposed to meet the RFP?

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I understand government and military purchasing is very similar. Why not write more generic requirnments? Because someone with decision making authority likes the Microsoft brand and has decided that on a solution that can work with their own pet project can be considered.

I've heard tell of military projects get to the point of beta test user. A officer change brings in a new figurehead that likes Microsoft and suddenly the previous and nearly complete project is scrapped to support some officer's brand preferences.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Praxis
by mabhatter on Sat 6th Nov 2010 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Praxis"
mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

the point is that they essentially specified "implementers" of the Microsoft solution... they were bidding for implementations, not the actual software. This is how they get their toe-hold. At some point the government will want it's big contractors involved.. and there will be no "open" implementation because that would be "unfair" to Microsoft's "property" rights.

After that Microsoft will "alter the deal..." the goal is not to hold up the government, but all the people that have to CONNECT to the government with the mandated software.

Reply Score: 2

MS Washington DC
by a1w2c3 on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:38 UTC
a1w2c3
Member since:
2010-11-02

One has to remember that Microsoft has very deep pockets and an army of lobbysts in washington to hypnotize mindless politicians into bending to its will.

Let's all give Google our support against the evil empire and its minions.

Reply Score: 4

RE: MS Washington DC
by Shannara on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:49 UTC in reply to "MS Washington DC"
Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

So ... lets support one evil empire over another evil empire .... mmm yeah ... no.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: MS Washington DC
by Quake on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE: MS Washington DC"
Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

So ... lets support one evil empire over another evil empire .... mmm yeah ... no.

You forgot this important saying: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: MS Washington DC
by Shannara on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS Washington DC"
RE[4]: MS Washington DC
by ephracis on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: MS Washington DC"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

No! We would all be happy, full of rainbow colored love and enjoying our eternal friendships in an endless sea of smileys and happy thoughts.

Oh, and there would be no trolls. Yeah! The Internet would be pure once more.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: MS Washington DC
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 03:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: MS Washington DC"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

The internet would not be the internet were there no trolls on the internet to provide... counterarguments ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MS Washington DC
by mat69 on Wed 3rd Nov 2010 11:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MS Washington DC"
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

That is a complete fallacy.

US exterior politics were dictated by that bs for decades and guess what it lead to the raise of the mullahs in Iran -- the US helped installing a dicatator (the Shah) before that and it backfired -- lead to more radicalism in Afghanistan, lead partially to huge drug problems in South America ...

And they still continue this crap, supporting warlords in Afghanistan because they say they fight the Taleban.


To make it short and more understandable:
Just to hurt my enemy I would not f--k his girl friend -- who wants to overthrow him just to have the power for herself -- if she was ugly like hell.

Edited 2010-11-03 11:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: MS Washington DC
by AaronD on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 05:24 UTC in reply to "MS Washington DC"
AaronD Member since:
2009-08-19

One has to remember that Microsoft has very deep pockets and an army of lobbysts in washington to hypnotize mindless politicians into bending to its will.

So does Google.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS Washington DC
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 20:54 UTC in reply to "MS Washington DC"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

One has to remember that Microsoft has very deep pockets and an army of lobbysts in washington to hypnotize mindless politicians into bending to its will.

Let's all give Google our support against the evil empire and its minions.


Frankly, this doesn't look like an issue with lobbyists.
"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Reply Score: 2

RE: MS Washington DC
by tomcat on Thu 4th Nov 2010 20:56 UTC in reply to "MS Washington DC"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

One has to remember that Microsoft has very deep pockets and an army of lobbysts in washington to hypnotize mindless politicians into bending to its will. Let's all give Google our support against the evil empire and its minions.


Oh, right. Because, after all, Google is just a non-profit running on a shoestring budget, and doesn't have millions of users. Oh, wait...

Reply Score: 2

Hyper-correctness
by telns on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:41 UTC
telns
Member since:
2009-06-18

Google's complaint about case studies steers towards hyper-correctness.

It is true that there are no case-studies for BPOS-Federal, which is a new, specially tailored version of BPOS for the US Federal Gov't. But won't it by definition be true for all time, if that is used a disqualifying complaint against the product being purchased by the US Federal Gov't? To belabor the point, BPOS-Federal was created with the intention of selling to exactly one customer: the US Federal Gov't. If the fact that the US Federal Gov't has no history with the product is a disqualification for it acquiring the product, won't that be a disqualification in perpetuity?

That angle is particularly interesting as there seems to be at least one case study of BPOS for a similar size institution as the DOI (~100,000 seats) available:

http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestu...

All that said, I can understand why Google would be irked by the bid solicitation. Only in highly unusual circumstances would anyone want a large contract like this to be awarded to a vendor without a competition. However, it is also possible that BPOS-Federal is the only thing available on the market that does what the DOI wants done. That wouldn't be too surprising, as (see above) it was designed specifically to meet the needs of that particular customer.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hyper-correctness
by lemur2 on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:54 UTC in reply to "Hyper-correctness"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

But won't it by definition be true for all time, if that is used a disqualifying complaint against the product being purchased by the US Federal Gov't?


No. In the complaint this fact is used to show that there is no valid reason for specifying BPOS-Federal in particular, and that by the government's own rules other solutions should have been allowed to be proposed, and considered under fair competition.

Edited 2010-11-02 00:55 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Hyper-correctness
by telns on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyper-correctness"
telns Member since:
2009-06-18

Ah, fair enough.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hyper-correctness
by tomcat on Thu 4th Nov 2010 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyper-correctness"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

LMAO! lemur2 p0wn3d by BPOS-Federal.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hyper-correctness
by coreyography on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:10 UTC in reply to "Hyper-correctness"
coreyography Member since:
2009-03-06

It's easier to let a vendor essentially define the specification for you, than it is to write a good one yourself. Not better, just easier.

Edited 2010-11-02 01:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment Title
by Bringbackanonposting on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 00:58 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

I thought this was going to be Google Vs Patent Office....

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Elv13
by Elv13 on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:16 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

my (former) employer did just that 10 months ago and won
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&l...

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://...

Same reason, no public offer, ask for Windows without valid reasons, corruption (unregistered lobbying to be polite) from Microsoft sellers. We won, USA don't accept precedents from Canada, but it will probably be cited anyway. It was a precedent here, but we ended up being less or more blacklisted from the government, indirectly cutting my job. Not a big problem for me, I just went back to school.

Reply Score: 8

Scribed? Lesigh...
by Almafeta on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:16 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

... I managed to get through three pages before Scribed told me "no more, buy a membership..." but I take it the Justice Department was asking about the cost of the Google Apps service?

My question is why would a government trust Google with confidential data? They might as well subcontract out to Wikileaks for their data storage solution.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Scribed? Lesigh...
by ozonehole on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:22 UTC in reply to "Scribed? Lesigh..."
ozonehole Member since:
2006-01-07

And of course, we all know that we can trust Microsoft.

Especially when it comes to security - Windows has never had a vulnerability. There are no Windows viruses or spyware. All you've got to do is disconnect Windows from the Internet and LAN, never plug in a USB device or CDROM, and you're OK. Really.

Edited 2010-11-02 01:26 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Scribed? Lesigh...
by nt_jerkface on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Scribed? Lesigh..."
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Cheeky but getting old.

Windows Server 2008R2 will end up having a better security record this year than RHEL.

Anyone who wants a secure Nix should look towards the BSDs.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/15/linux_kernel_regression_bug...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Scribed? Lesigh...
by Almafeta on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 01:41 UTC in reply to "Scribed? Lesigh..."
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

(You can only edit for 20 minutes... geeze.)

From the 3 pages I can read on Scribd... it looks like Google told the DoJ they'd be able to deliver a BPOS-Federal product, then sued when the DoJ wouldn't buy their non-BPOS product. I don't think this will be going anywhere.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Scribed? Lesigh...
by sorpigal on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Scribed? Lesigh..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

From those same three pages no, that is not what it looks like Google is saying. Can you cite where you read that? I don't see it.

Seems like what happened was:
1. Prior to the RFQ Google asked for the requirements.
2. Google confirmed to the DOI that they could meet those requirements.
3. Google was assured by the DOI that there would be an open procurement process.
4. The RFQ is published with a requirement for a Microsoft solution.

So Google sues.

Reply Score: 2

v awesome not
by xaeropower on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 02:17 UTC
Short story...
by JPowers on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 04:33 UTC
JPowers
Member since:
2007-11-10

I need the following:
1. e-mail.
2. shared documents.
3. shared calendars.
4. must have security certification.
5. must be Microsoft Product.

Google: I can do it all except 5.

Microsoft: I can do it all except 4.

The law:
1. You can't name a vendor/product in a request.
2. You can name a vendor/product only under very limited conditions.

Google: The request doesn't follow law #1 and they don't meet the requirements to allow the exception in #2.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Short story...
by as400tek on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:09 UTC in reply to "Short story..."
as400tek Member since:
2006-02-15

Lotus!

1. e-mail. Lotus Notes & Domino
2. shared documents. Lotus Quickr
3. shared calendars. Lotus Notes & Domino
4. must have security certification. Lotus Note & Domino is far more secure than one would think and encryption is built in.
5. must be Microsoft Product. Lotus Domino and Notes can run on Windows, but works on Linux and Mac too. The Domino Server runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, System i, Mail Frame Linux, and HPUX.

Everyone forgets about the other direct competitor to Microsoft in the quasi collaboration space. If you consider what Microsoft offers as collaboration, which I do not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Short story...
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Short story..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Lotus!

1. e-mail. Lotus Notes & Domino
2. shared documents. Lotus Quickr
3. shared calendars. Lotus Notes & Domino
4. must have security certification. Lotus Note & Domino is far more secure than one would think and encryption is built in.
5. must be Microsoft Product. Lotus Domino and Notes can run on Windows, but works on Linux and Mac too. The Domino Server runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, System i, Mail Frame Linux, and HPUX.

Everyone forgets about the other direct competitor to Microsoft in the quasi collaboration space. If you consider what Microsoft offers as collaboration, which I do not.


IBM is in the same boat as Microsoft, because they have a lot of gov't contracts that have IBM specified directly or indirectly. So IBM decided not to rock the boat, since both can drown...
But now, maybe IBM will join Google in the suit and get in the bid with hosted notes solution....

Reply Score: 2

RE: Short story...
by as400tek on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:10 UTC in reply to "Short story..."
as400tek Member since:
2006-02-15

Lotus!

1. e-mail. Lotus Notes & Domino
2. shared documents. Lotus Quickr
3. shared calendars. Lotus Notes & Domino
4. must have security certification. Lotus Note & Domino is far more secure than one would think and encryption is built in.
5. must be Microsoft Product. Lotus Domino and Notes can run on Windows, but works on Linux and Mac too. The Domino Server runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, System i, Mail Frame Linux, and HPUX.

Everyone forgets about the other direct competitor to Microsoft in the quasi collaboration space. If you consider what Microsoft offers as collaboration, which I do not.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Short story...
by as400tek on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:11 UTC in reply to "Short story..."
as400tek Member since:
2006-02-15

Lotus!

1. e-mail. Lotus Notes & Domino
2. shared documents. Lotus Quickr
3. shared calendars. Lotus Notes & Domino
4. must have security certification. Lotus Note & Domino is far more secure than one would think and encryption is built in.
5. must be Microsoft Product. Lotus Domino and Notes can run on Windows, but works on Linux and Mac too. The Domino Server runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, System i, Mail Frame Linux, and HPUX.

Everyone forgets about the other direct competitor to Microsoft in the quasi collaboration space. If you consider what Microsoft offers as collaboration, which I do not.

Sorry all, I can't seem to get this to reply only to add at the bottom of the comments. My apologies.

Edited 2010-11-02 16:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Short story...
by Neolander on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Short story..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Sorry all, I can't seem to get this to reply only to add at the bottom of the comments. My apologies.

It is marked as reply in fact, look at the comment title ;) . The problem is just that when you're logged in, "flat" comment view is the default. It can be fixed by adjusting the comment display settings in your account's preferences. But that's a matter of user account preferences, not a problem with your comment, really.

Edited 2010-11-02 16:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

What I find hilarious...
by mrhasbean on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 08:12 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...is that a company that's supposedly so adamant about users being able to make their own choice about software is suing because a user made a choice about software.

Whether it's law or not, this is priceless...

Reply Score: 0

RE: What I find hilarious...
by lemur2 on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 08:43 UTC in reply to "What I find hilarious..."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

...is that a company that's supposedly so adamant about users being able to make their own choice about software is suing because a user made a choice about software.

Whether it's law or not, this is priceless...


In this case, the "user" is a government department. Being a government department, they are spending the people's money. They had better have a very good case to support their spending decisions if they just mandate one option without evaluating what is actually the best value-for-money option for their actual needs.

It won't be funny at all if they have spent more of the people's money than needs be, without giving any other better-value-for-money option a chance to compete.

Edited 2010-11-02 08:44 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: What I find hilarious...
by Neolander on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 09:01 UTC in reply to "What I find hilarious..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

...is that a company that's supposedly so adamant about users being able to make their own choice about software is suing because a user made a choice about software.

Whether it's law or not, this is priceless...

Yeah, real-world philosophy is often more complex than how marketing and politics put it ;)

The GPL vs BSD debate itself is a good example : one would have thought that 221 years after the redaction of the original Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, we would have got a universal definition of freedom, when in fact, some people are to the contrary starting to question if freedom of choice is the right thing with very good arguments
http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.ht...

In this case, "freedom of choice of the government" also means "making Microsoft even bigger than it already is and easing its world domination", which in the ends means "no freedom of choice for everyone", whereas "freedom of the choice of the government except microsoft" still leaves much choice and does not have the previous issue.

Edited 2010-11-02 09:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: What I find hilarious...
by Soulbender on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 17:05 UTC in reply to "What I find hilarious..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Almost as funny as the fact that MS apparently has no problem with this blatant anti-competitive behavior but always complain loudly when governments prescribe the use of F/OSS in government.

Reply Score: 6

Nothing peculiar at all ...
by pica on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 09:13 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

Governments prescribe rules how to tender. If a government breaks its own rules, it is likely it will be sued.

pica

Reply Score: 3

I am amazed companies still use Outlook
by Priest on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 11:31 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

After all this time and progress, why do almost all companies use a proprietary mail platform that depends on Microsoft?

Even an open standard that does POP/calendering and authenticates against a windows domain server can't be THAT hard.

Exchange is a *HUGE* roadblock to getting off of MS Office.

Reply Score: 3

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Not to mention how much of a pile of crap Outlook is.

As I've always said, the only time that a person should use Outlook is if they are using an Exchange server. Every version out there has some weird problem with standard protocols like IMAP, SSMTP, etc.

Seriously, being an email administrator, that is the only calls I ever get, well that and "How do I configure my iPhone?"

The annoying thing is this, there are open solutions out there that work with open clients. But when you have a mixed environment, most people use outlook, and most of the open calendaring systems require some sort of 'outlook connector' per machine. If the Evolution port for Windows wasn't still made of crap, then my life would be a lot easier.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I will get modded down for this, but I'll tell the truth: Outlook+Exchange is a turn-key solution for basic collaboration that has no competition from Free Software.

This is gradually changing, but only just recently, and most competitors still compete on the "We'll use a web-based client" idea, which doesn't seem to cut it in this space.

What do you need to compete?

You need centralized email where the mailboxes are subject to many kinds of controls (space, etc).
You need shared calendaring (share meetings and invites but also direct write access on a per-calendar and per-user basis).
You need it to be able to be set up by a novice.
You need it to be adminable by a novice. Say what you like about how awful AD and Exchange are, and they are, but anyone can 'learn' to add users and manage their quotas and mailing lists in short order.
You need it to integrate with a single sign on solution. For Outlook+Exhange networks this means AD authentication.
You need a high performance lightweight fat client that can store mail locally or store mail on the mail server on a permanent basis, or both.
You need for it to be easy to lock down some or all settings on each client install so that they are controlled by corporate policy.

I could go on and on. Outlook itself is a shitty client but it manages to perform pretty well on a LAN when you have huge mailboxes with large numbers of messages. Ever try to do IMAP mail with e.g. Thunderbird where you delete nothing but just leave it sitting in your inbox? Compare the performance and features: Outlook will win most of the time and certainly if you don't carefully tune things.

Once again it's not that Free Software *can't* compete, it's just that the set of people who understand what we need to compete do not overlap with the set of people writing the software. The average developer doesn't use email as a file transfer protocol yet this is a typical usage in any company. The average developer has no idea how email is used by Exchange users and would refuse to implement such uses if they were explained. "That's crazy!" - yes, it is, but people who don't care about technical suckiness have come to expect it.

Reply Score: 5

Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

Exactly and thank you, it seems a competing platform is non-existant even though there could be huge money in being the only other real competitor to Exchange.

Companies spend billions a year fighting Microsoft when they could spend a fraction of that and design a standards based solution that would better allow 3rd party mail clients and with it some innovation.

Microsoft's office products are as profitable as windows has been for them and it is pointless to deploy some other office platform if you have to purchase Outlook licenses anyway.

Microsoft is a huge behemoth and designing a replacement for Exchange would be kicking them in the nuts. IMHO it is their biggest weakness and I imagine even the executives in Redmond have to be wondering why nobody is even trying for it (outside of web based mail at least).

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Exactly and thank you, it seems a competing platform is non-existant even though there could be huge money in being the only other real competitor to Exchange.

Companies spend billions a year fighting Microsoft when they could spend a fraction of that and design a standards based solution that would better allow 3rd party mail clients and with it some innovation.

Microsoft's office products are as profitable as windows has been for them and it is pointless to deploy some other office platform if you have to purchase Outlook licenses anyway.

Microsoft is a huge behemoth and designing a replacement for Exchange would be kicking them in the nuts. IMHO it is their biggest weakness and I imagine even the executives in Redmond have to be wondering why nobody is even trying for it (outside of web based mail at least).


http://www.sogo.nu/english/about/why_use_sogo.html
There are a number of reasons why SOGo should be your preferred groupware solution over alternatives such as Microsoft Exchange or Zimbra.

Costs

SOGo and all its related components (Mozilla Thunderbird plugins, Funambol SOGo Connector, etc.) are entirely free and released under the GPL (or LGPL/MPL)
Other solutions, like Zimbra, offer limited branding capabilities when using the "free" version
Microsoft Exchange and Zimbra can cost between 30 $US and 115 $US per user, per year, for environments as small as 1500 users. This means you can pay between 44,000 $US and 105,000 $US per year in licensing fees.

Other solutions that provide you with Microsoft Outlook compatibility require you to install and maintain complex MAPI connectors on all computers that use Outlook


There are othe technical reasons for choosing a solution like Sogo as well.

http://www.sogo.nu/english/about/features.html
In addition to web-based interface, SoGo
Desktop Clients

SOGo provides perfect integration with desktop clients such as :

Mozilla Thunderbird - considered as the favored client to use with SOGo due to its tight integration using the SOGo Connector and Integrator extensions. With Thunderbird, one can easily share address books, calendars and emails with other SOGo users - all this due standard protocols such as CalDAV and CardDAV provided by SOGo
Microsoft Outlook - using the OpenChange connector developed by Inverse, Microsoft Outlook users can share address books, calendars and emails with other SOGo users without relying on costly MAPI providers. The connectivity between Microsoft Outlook and SOGo is native as SOGo will act as a fully featured Microsoft Exchange server to Microsoft Outlook clients (currently in development)
Apple iCal and AddressBook - much like with Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple applications can benefit from SOGo's address books and calendars sharing capabilities with any other SOGo users

Mobile Devices

With SOGo, data access goes beyond the Web and native interfaces. SOGo supports virtually every mobile devices such as :

Apple iPhone devices are supported natively through the use of the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols, which are well supported by SOGo
Google Android devices can easily synchronize calendars and contacts with SOGo
Windows Mobile phones and BlackBerry devices using the Funambol middleware and the Funambol SOGo Connector. Funambol also enables any SyncML capable devices to fully synchronize contacts, events and tasks with SOGo. Over 2 billion phones are supported


Hey, why not download it and give it a try
http://www.sogo.nu/english/downloads/backend.html
... it is available for RedHat, Debian and Ubuntu servers, or you can compile it from source, or you can even run it in a Virtualbox or VMware virtual appliance.

What's to lose? You don't have to replace Outlook on any Windows machines where you have licensed it, and where you haven't licensed Outlook (say you installed OpenOffice for argument's sake on some Windows machines) then you can simply use Thunderbird+Lightning on those machines, or indeed on your Linux client machines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Thunderbird
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_%28software%29

There is no need to continue to penalise yourself like the US government departments are apparently so very keen to do to themselves.

It appears to be a reasonable solution for as many client desktops as you might require, that is available to anyone for just the cost of the hardware (no acquisition costs, and no per user rental fees). It is, at the very least, worth a trial.

Edited 2010-11-04 11:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I will get modded down for this, but I'll tell the truth: Outlook+Exchange is a turn-key solution for basic collaboration that has no competition from Free Software. This is gradually changing, but only just recently, and most competitors still compete on the "We'll use a web-based client" idea, which doesn't seem to cut it in this space.


I'm not sure of the performance and features of open source combinations in this arena, but there are actually solutions emerging which are not merely "web-based client".

I would suggest that a possible open source solution to replace the Outlook+Exchange+Sharepoint combination is Thunderbird(or Outlook)+OpenChange+SOGo+Alfresco.

http://www.openchange.org/
http://www.sogo.nu/english.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfresco_%28software%29

Certainly worth having a look at and giving any company proposing a solution such as that at least a chance to bid for your business.

You can always run trials to make sure it will work. It is not as though Outlook+Exchange+Sharepoint is free of problems.

Priest:
The government probably spends billions/year to license Exchange and outlook. If Google thinks they have a cheaper and better solution and wants the right to bid on the contract then good for them!


Exactly. Spot on. Precisely the point.

At least have a look at what is offer as an alternative. Do a proper value-for-money tradeoff, don't just dismiss any alternative options offered out of hand.

After all, the government is spending billions/year, as suggested, of the people's money. The people have a right that the government should spend their money in the best way possible.

Edited 2010-11-03 23:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Any solution based on OpenChange is poison. Weaning people from exchange and MAPI mail to something that's essentially a clone of exchange and MAPI mail is good for freedom, sure, but unsexy and unpalatable. "Why should I buy a FOSS solution that's immature when Microsoft will sell me the same thing?" I'd prefer it if there were solutions based on open standards and open protocols which worked well. In either case you can't win with a "sure, let me piece that together for you" solution. It has to be turn-key.

I'm less worried about 'competing' with sharepoint. Its value is not proven and I believe some people are starting to see what happens when it collapses under its own inadequacies.

When it comes to sogo I'll be honest and sya I haven't tried it and it might be okay, but I'm skeptical based on past experience with this kind of knit-it-together-and-cross-our-fingers approach.

Edited 2010-11-04 18:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Any solution based on OpenChange is poison. Weaning people from exchange and MAPI mail to something that's essentially a clone of exchange and MAPI mail is good for freedom, sure, but unsexy and unpalatable. "Why should I buy a FOSS solution that's immature when Microsoft will sell me the same thing?" I'd prefer it if there were solutions based on open standards and open protocols which worked well. In either case you can't win with a "sure, let me piece that together for you" solution. It has to be turn-key.

...

When it comes to sogo I'll be honest and sya I haven't tried it and it might be okay, but I'm skeptical based on past experience with this kind of knit-it-together-and-cross-our-fingers approach.


For small business a sloution such as SOGo/OpenChange/Alfresco/Samba looks ideal. It needs to be trialled, and there needs to be a company to "champion" this approach and make it work for individual clients, but the basis for a solution does seem to be there where there wasn't before (unless one counts semi-proprietary solutions such as Zimbra or OpenXchange).

Anyway, the point is ... a lot of companies would like to run mixed environments. Microsoft's own solution is expensive, it includes per-user yearly ongoing fees, and it doesn't integrate non-Windows clients. SOGo/OpenChange/Alfresco/Samba on servers and Thunderbird/Lightning/Outlook on clients appears to solve all of these issues in one fell swoop. Small buisness can run Linux servers, mixed Linux/Windows clients, mixed OpenOffice/MS Office desktop suites, in any proportion and up to quite large numbers, in an integrated way, at very low comparitive costs.

I wouldn't suggest that this is a solution to put to a government department where BPOS-federal is the kind of requirement, but for small to medium businesses it suddenly does look like a very cost-effective open source solution is emerging where there has been none before.

As I said ... it is certainly worth a trial.

If a small to medium company (or even a small government department or other orgainsation) is looking at a number of older XP machines which are going to be losing support soon, and is facing a huge bill to re-equip with multiple Windows servers and a large number of new Windows 7 desktops with MS Office 2007 or 2010 on the one hand, or they are looking at installing OpenOffice, Thunderbird/Lightning and possibly even Linux on existing machines on the other hand ... I know which one is very likely to come out more functional, less troublesome, far more cost effective and far cheaper to run and maintain ongoing. It is not the former but the latter solution.

Edited 2010-11-04 22:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

taxes
by FunkyELF on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:07 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

Read the headline hoping it was about how high the taxes are here.
Google avoids paying millions in taxes by doing a legal "double irish" scheme.
They're prying Ireland 3% instead of paying USA 30%.
If they could pay the US 3% I'm sure they would, but given those two options, its worth it to pay lawyers millions of dollars to save hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by OSbunny
by OSbunny on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:31 UTC
OSbunny
Member since:
2009-05-23

Its not very good business to sue potential customers.

Reply Score: 2

AMD did this 2004 in Germany ...
by pica on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:39 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

..., because many government tenders explicitly demanded an "INTEL Prozessor". AMD won. And now the tenders demand "x86" or "x86-64" processors. But nothing else changed :-(

pica

Reply Score: 1

cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

Wouldn't it be amazing if that changed to ANSI C code compliant or better. Practically every architecture on the market would be open game.

Reply Score: 1

Google is treading murky waters
by fewt on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 13:51 UTC
fewt
Member since:
2010-06-09

They may well have a case under 253(a), but I anticipate the government will argue Competition in Contracting Act, 41 U.S.C. 253(c)(1).

(c) Use of noncompetitive procedures. An executive agency may use procedures other than competitive procedures only when--
(1) the property or services needed by the executive agency are available from only one responsible source and no other type of property or services will satisfy the needs of the executive agency;


It will be an interesting case, I hope Google wins but I won't hold my breath.

Edited 2010-11-02 13:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

If they try to argue with this then they're going to have a hard time proving that "no other type of property or services will satisfy the needs of the executive agency"

Reply Score: 2

as400tek
Member since:
2006-02-15

I think this is going to spark a huge thread of hate, but the new Lotus Notes 8 with Domino 8, works on Windows, Linux, and Mac and is really really nice to boot.

http://www.notesiscool.com/

Any government agency should send out an RFQ and then be biased after they is worked through the system . The government is too big and too jaded to make clear decisions with anything right now. I would suspect that there were some kickbacks somewhere?

Reply Score: 1

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

You really really like Lotus Notes.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Bounty
by Bounty on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:43 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

I can understand the governments desire to not completely replace their existing systems. Once you've started down a particular path, it's going to be painful to switch environments. If you have 100,000 employee's who already know Microsoft's products pretty well, and now you're going to have to switch them over to another company's product, it's going to involve extra training etc. Stuff that's not necessarily on your radar or original rfq. Especially if the new product will obviously have a lower initial cost and higher potential ongoing costs (services) etc, you basically know you're screwed.

Reply Score: 2

Fedora 14 is released.
by Jason Bourne on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 16:50 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

Fedora 14 is released.

(I take the holiday as the excuse for the delay.)

Reply Score: 1

Makes me ask...
by deathshadow on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 19:47 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Do Google's software, employees and data centers meet the security minimums that are an inherent part of BPOS-Feddy? (and why it's such a huge investment for MS)

You know:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIPS_140-2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_70
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITAR

Let me answer for you -- no, they aren't.

Technically pursuing litigation in this manner on a subject that falls through to ITAR as a requirement (which the DOI definitely requires) could fall under 18 U.S.C. § 2381 -- much less article 3 section 3 of the constitution...

Enjoy your death by hanging for treason.

Sure, they might qualify so far as HIPAA and FERPA -- but I very much doubt anything Google has passes NVLAP testing, ITAR requirements, or the few dozen other requirements MS sank billions into passing to get the gov' to accept BPOS at the federal level given the new requirements passed by the legislature regarding future acquisitions.

I'm pretty sure the Senate securities committee will be speaking up on this one soon enough.


--- edit ---

This one is REALLY silly if you know anything about government acquisitions -- most agencies aren't even allowed to pick their own gear; Which means G wasn't even talking to the right people -- the right people being certain members of the Senate. (much as military hardware requires approval by the Armed Services committee)

Edited 2010-11-02 19:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Makes me ask...
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Nov 2010 21:07 UTC in reply to "Makes me ask..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Do Google's software, employees and data centers meet the security minimums that are an inherent part of BPOS-Feddy? (and why it's such a huge investment for MS)

You know:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIPS_140-2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_70
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITAR

Let me answer for you -- no, they aren't.

Technically pursuing litigation in this manner on a subject that falls through to ITAR as a requirement (which the DOI definitely requires) could fall under 18 U.S.C. § 2381 -- much less article 3 section 3 of the constitution...

Enjoy your death by hanging for treason.

Sure, they might qualify so far as HIPAA and FERPA -- but I very much doubt anything Google has passes NVLAP testing, ITAR requirements, or the few dozen other requirements MS sank billions into passing to get the gov' to accept BPOS at the federal level given the new requirements passed by the legislature regarding future acquisitions.

I'm pretty sure the Senate securities committee will be speaking up on this one soon enough.


--- edit ---

This one is REALLY silly if you know anything about government acquisitions -- most agencies aren't even allowed to pick their own gear; Which means G wasn't even talking to the right people -- the right people being certain members of the Senate. (much as military hardware requires approval by the Armed Services committee)


Engadget says they actually got their certification in June. That is why they are suing now.

Reply Score: 2

BAD GOOGLE!
by jefro on Wed 3rd Nov 2010 21:12 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

They are simply wasting my tax dollars in order to further their gain.

Reply Score: 1

RE: BAD GOOGLE!
by Priest on Wed 3rd Nov 2010 23:05 UTC in reply to "BAD GOOGLE!"
Priest Member since:
2006-05-12

The government probably spends billions/year to license Exchange and outlook.

If Google thinks they have a cheaper and better solution and wants the right to bid on the contract then good for them!

Reply Score: 2