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.
Obviously, didn’t sit well with Google, and I’m sure other companies putting out competing software aren’t happy about it either (does Red Hat serve this market?). Google is seeking permanent injunctions against the Department of the Interior moving forward with this specific Request for Quotation until the DOI allows decent competition for the RfQ.
Basically, the Department of the Interior is looking for a “single hosted email and collaboration services solution” for its 88000 employees. That’s one heck of a potential customer right there – except that whichever company’s order would be picked, Microsoft would always win: the DOI demanded the use of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal (BPOS-Federal).
The DOI justified this demand by stating that “based on extensive market research, the Department determined that although many companies can provide messaging services in general, they either cannot provide services that address the complexity of messaging requirements within DOI, or they could not meet the degree of security required by DOI”.
Google points out that BPOS-Federal is a new product, and that there are no case studies or known customers who have implemented this product. In addition, BPOS-Federal has not been properly certified by any government agency at any risk level. Despite all this, the DOI still demands this tool.
Google obviously laments the security part of the DOI’s justification as well, citing research which shows that Microsoft’s software has serious downtime issues and security vulnerabilities. This is all marketing talk, of course, but there’s an element of truth in there.
It’s an interesting case, but I’m sure it’s going to take ages before we hear anything conclusive about this.