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Microsoft is once again calling out Google over its business practices
Continues to mount ironic campaign against Google's business practices

While perhaps everyone except Microsoft itself sees the irony in this, the company is continuing its public assault on Google and its practices in a new blog post this week.

In a Microsoft on the Issues blog post titled "Google’s misleading security claims to the government raise serious questions", Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel David Howard basically calls Google a liar for touting certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) for its Google Apps for Government. Howard claims that unsealed court documents now prove that the certification was for a different software suite, Google Apps Premier.

"Open competition should involve accurate competition. It’s time for Google to stop telling governments something that is not true," Howard concludes.

Why does Microsoft really care about certification for a software suite for government employees? Well, because Google stepped in when it looked like Microsoft was going to be selected to provide a cloud-based email system to the Department of Interior. Google sued the government, claiming favoritism towards Microsoft by the DoI. Google then tried to sell its Google Apps for Government suite, citing its FISMA certification, which "creates a process for federal agencies to accredit and certify the security of information management systems like e-mail," Howard writes. "FISMA-certification suggests that a particular solution has proven that it has met an adequate level of security for a specific need."

When documents of the legal proceedings were unsealed last week, the Department of Justice brief read: “On December 16, 2010, counsel for the Government learned that, notwithstanding Google’s representations to the public at large, its counsel, the GAO and this Court, it appears that Google’s Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification.”

Rather, the General Services Administration (GSA) under FISMA had certified Google Apps Premier for its own use. Meanwhile, Google Apps for Government was still in the process of certification.

"To put it charitably, because of Google’s unwillingness to provide answers, the facts have remained opaque," Howard writes. "As a result of the lawsuit, it looks like we finally are beginning to get some answers.

Comments on Howard's blog post take a generally mocking tone, as someone identified as Kevin sums up: "Is it 'open competition' if only Microsoft products are available for government contracts?" 

Another commenter, identified as Chuck, had this to say: "Microsoft is afraid of Google -- very afraid."

Perhaps fear can also help explain why a company the size of Microsoft, once the principal of a very public antitrust lawsuit in the 1990s, has filed an antitrust complaint against Google in Europe.

Microsoft's lengthy list of complaints against Google in Europe are all summed up in another blog post, which takes note of the irony: 

There of course will be some who will point out the irony in today’s filing. Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly. This is the first time Microsoft Corporation has ever taken this step. More so than most, we recognize the importance of ensuring that competition laws remain balanced and that technology innovation moves forward.  

So, because Microsoft was once in Google's position, it learned its lesson and now understands the importance of competition? 

Meanwhile, Google still claims FISMA certification over on the Google Apps for Government webpage.



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MS has a point....
By trooper11 on 4/12/2011 8:58:42 AM , Rating: 5
I dont see the problem with MS trying to bring these issues to light. It sounds like to me that they have a real reason to be upset. Google went after MS claiming unfair practices with these government contracts and now its revealed that Google is also engaging in unfair practices, now thats ironic. So I guess as long as Google gets the contracts, then the system is obviously fair right?

Yeah, I get the joke at MS' expense, but sometimes it seems like people are so willing to drop the hammer on MS and give Google a pass when, in reality, both operate in very similar ways behind the scenes. all we see is the outer layer, the pr layer these companies want us to see.




RE: MS has a point....
By BZDTemp on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: MS has a point....
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 10:45:57 AM , Rating: 3
So let me get this straight, its funny because Google is partaking in exactly the same kind of activities that you are blasting Microsoft for?

I just don't see the relevancy in past activities if their allegations are indeed correct. People using the 'pot meet kettle' analogy to voice their opinion every single time is becoming very old and stale and has and has little relevancy to the task at hand.

If Google is doing something wrong it should be dealt with, Microsoft's past activities are completely irrelevant in the matter.

Especially when you consider the fact Microsoft has already paid dearly for their mistakes, and have become a completely different company in the last 10 years.


RE: MS has a point....
By adiposity on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: MS has a point....
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 1:07:19 PM , Rating: 2
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, nor do I think you have an idea what this is about..

Google has a stranglehold on the search and online advertisement industry.. specifically in Europe where they certainly could be considered a monopoly. (some 95% or something which is higher than MS's OS dominance) This is where most of MS's complaints lie..

Being a monopoly it itself is not illegal, however abusing said monopoly with your market dominance is..

Whether or not they have done something wrong is not for us to decide, but the fact remains they DO hold a dominant position in the European market where this issue is being raised.


RE: MS has a point....
By BZDTemp on 4/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: MS has a point....
By omnicronx on 4/12/2011 1:32:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
No it's funny because Microsoft again and again are doing what they can to use their muscles and doing it unfair
So once again.. you find it funny because Google is partaking in exactly the same kind of activities that you are blasting Microsoft for..

Furthermore protecting IP has absolutely nothing to do with monopolistic activity. (whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant)

So please enlighten us as to what 'terrible muscle flexing' activities you are talking about?

As for your last statement, Microsoft is not the only one complaining. I don't think anyone really knows yet whether or not Google has done wrong here, but thats not the point. You are defending Google by making the terrible defense that MS has done something wrong in the past, and thus they should no longer have to play on the same playing field as everyone else, including the ability to complain about possible antitrust allegations.

Your argument makes absolutely no sense.. In fact, its barely an argument at all, merely the usual MS hate mongering backed up with baseless facts.


RE: MS has a point....
By zmatt on 4/12/2011 2:18:07 PM , Rating: 1
thats a major fallacy. Microsoft's business practices have nothing to do with Google's. If Google lied then Google lied. It doesn't matter if M$ is the one who brought it up. Now if M$ tries to make it look like they are in the moral right, then you would have a point. Just because one slime ball calls out another does not make the accused any less of a slime ball.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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