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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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By Oyster on 11/2/2010 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
If Google figured out a way to allow its users to sort their Inbox by "From," "To," "Date Sent," etc., maybe the Dept. of Interior would consider their product. Furthermore, this is the Dept. of Interior - they do not wish to store their data in the cloud, where God knows what Google will do to it.

Currently, some of these agencies don't even have enough budget to support their day-to-day activities. Their budgets have been cut because they're considered the "stepchild" of their parent... kind of like Marketing is the first thing to get cut backs when the overarching Corporation is in trouble. Why should the Dept. of Interior (or any other agency) waste time, money, and resources on going out for bid when the competition doesn't even have anything on the table that can be considered competitive? Credit's due where credit's due... Outlook > Gmail.

I still can't fathom that Gmail is out of beta and we can't even sort! Search for contacts!?!

RE: Features...
By fic2 on 11/2/2010 7:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess that the online part of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite probably stores the data in the cloud where god knows what Microsoft will do with it.

The rest of it I agree with. My yahoo account has had these things for years, but my google account doesn't? Although you sort of can search for contacts just by searching for a name in mail.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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