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Google's filing  (Source: Scribd)
Refusal to consider competitors other than Microsoft partners violates the law, Google argues

Last time a software company this big went to war with the United States government, it was Microsoft Corporation on the receiving end of antitrust accusations.  This time around it is the U.S. government on the defense, as the world's largest internet firm, Google Inc. accuses the U.S. federal Department of the Interior of collusion with Microsoft to illegally hand it email contracts without reviewing competitors products, including Google.

Onix Networking Corp., an enterprise reseller of Gmail and Google's other internet software services is listed as a co-plaintiff in the suit.  Microsoft is not formally listed as a defendant.

The DOI last year went looking for a web-documents service.  However, it decided early along to only consider software offerings that were part of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, essentially excluding Google and other third parties.  Google called that decision "arbitrary and capricious".

It began by writing the DOI a complaint letter in the spring, in which it asserted:
We believe these Microsoft-based requirements would violate the Competition in Contracting Act because they bear no rational relationship to the DOI's needs, are not written to enhance competition or innovation, and unduly restrict competition.
Google claims the DOI representatives responded with "assurances to Google representatives that DOI would conduct a full and open competition for its messaging requirements."  But no such investigation appears to ever have occurred.

Some observers are surprised by Google's decision to pursue legal action against the U.S. government.  The internet company is thought to be among the highest profile highest antitrust targets in America's tech industry.  The suit strikes some observers as a surprising role reversal.

Google claims claims that its under antitrust suspicions are fallacious and insists that it's still a "small" company compared to other giants like Microsoft.

Microsoft has been feeling the heat from Google and other "free" or ad-driven software makers.  The company recently ran an aggressive campaign attacking Sun Microsystem's free Open Office 3 suite, which some are viewing as a competitor to Microsoft's lucrative Office suite.


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RE: unsurprising
By Spivonious on 11/2/2010 12:52:34 PM , Rating: 3
Your post makes it painfully obvious that you do not work in IT.


RE: unsurprising
By melgross on 11/2/2010 4:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
And who says that IT's decisions are always right? Or even mostly right? IT itself? IT management people are no more competent than people working anywhere else. There's also a culture of self endowment, where they think, often wrongly, that their preferences, often based on self preservation, are always the best. Often they are not. The concept that we always use this, and so should always use this is wrongheaded.

When we look at software companies like Microsoft, and see they have a 78% gross margin, and a 30% net profit, and that's with losing several billion a year on their other products, we can see that their products are priced way too high. One reason for that is IT's insistence on using their products, allowing them to continue charging monopoly prices. The government should be aware of this, and should encourage proper competition for their business.

I'm not saying that Google, in this instance, has a good competing product, but to think that IT always knows best simply isn't right.


RE: unsurprising
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/2/2010 5:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
As "buggy" as many Microsoft products are, their competition is usually much worse.

Take Lotus Notes for instance, that thing can burn in hell.


RE: unsurprising
By Smilin on 11/8/2010 3:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yes let the HR department make purchase decisions for IT. Oh wait...have the CFO (who needs an assistant to run an Outlook calendar) make the call! That will turn out well.

I think what you'll find is most IT decisions that have gone wrong have done so when an outside party interfered...either because they want their way or because they don't understand.

As for "monopoly prices"? Sorry man but Windows hasn't changed prices in over 15 years. Win98 upgrade=$99, full=$199. Those prices sound familiar?


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