Google Cries Foul Over California Email Contract

State government accused of favoring Microsoft

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As many people know, Google’s based in California, the City of Los Angeles is adopting Google Apps, and Google Apps for Government was recently announced.  But despite these facts, Google might have been more or less blocked from bidding on an email contract involving California’s state government.

That’s Google’s position, at least, as it looks like the $60 million contract will go to CompuCom Systems, an IT outsourcing company with ties to Microsoft.  Google isn’t exactly hiding its displeasure, either.

Marc Lifsher and David Sarno explained earlier this morning, "Now, the Internet giant is accusing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration of rigging the bidding system in favor of its rival in Redmond, Wash."

GoogleAs for how things got to this point, the pair reported, "Google spent months trying to compete in the contract bidding process but never formally joined the race because state officials drew up a lengthy list of requirements the company said were impossible for it to meet."

Of course, $60 million isn’t much to Google.  The bigger deal is that the organization’s lost an opportunity to get a toehold in the government IT space, and another chance may not come along for a little while.

Microsoft, for the record, has more or less stayed out of the fight, just commenting on its qualifications.

Google Cries Foul Over California Email Contract
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  • Guest

    meet the list of baseline preliminary requirements then go home, shut your pie hole, and get to work. No one wants to listen to a bunch of whiny babies cry about it. They were lucky they duped la county into using their lame half baked stuff as it is. It wont be long until we’re seeing all sorts of sensitive private la county emails and docs hung out in public all over the internet for all to see due to googles lack of security

  • Guest

    I agree with “boo frickin’ hoo”. In fact, I was going to say the same thing… the boohoo thing.

  • Cpt. Spaulding

    Hiring big G. to have anything to do with handling government data is like hiring Ike as CEO of a Walmart pharmacy. Even Tina Turner would say, “get your shit out of the house because Ike doesn’t do anything nice!”. LAPD or LA County guys must be really crazy, REALLY CRAZY to get associated with big G. after all the Wi-Fi deal. Big G. has shown they are irresponsible and can’t be trusted with anything. Look at the Oracle issue they have right now. These guys shoot first and ask questions later. It’s a liability to do business with such a reckless company. I’m sure at some point big heads are going to roll in LA over this decision.

    Good for California. They are just trying to avoid a catastrophe that will cost them more in the long run.

  • Wesley

    Agreed, I’ve seen google move into Universitys for email, some people take them up but they keep forgetting people at the end of the day prefer MS based systems for its functionality, and google you haven’t drummed into everyones heads your apps/os’s. Many corporations would be hesitant to touch you over MS.

    So get real and go have a cry and try and move into something else, like they’re not trying to monopolise everything. To me personally your email service offered looks like branded gmail lol, not a proper enterprise solution, plus you would have to re-train people into using your stuff, when weighed up corps go with what end users know and save the re-training budget and put it into some other project.

    My 2 cents 😛

    • http://ubuntu.com guest2

      two cents worth of ms koolaid, on the rocks

  • http://ubuntu.com guest2

    i would have to see the list of pre-reqs to form a more complete opinion, but government should always be looking to alternatives to microsoft’s monopolistic hold on it product and service

    if a company with the resources of google can’t meet some arbitrary requirements, how in the world will any other company compete in this marketplace?

  • http://www.JigsawADay.com I Wanna Fight

    A few years back, I tried to bid on a contract and lost out, not because of my bid, or the work I would do, but because I was not a ‘Woman owned minority business.’ This requirement was not put in until the last round of bidding, after a ton of time and effort on our part.
    That was a requirement that there was no way I could meet, short of a sex change operation and some serious genetic engineering. The contract should have gone to the most qualified to do the work, not the ones who happened to be born the right sex or color.
    Still, it’s a prime example of how even the biggest companies can fail to meet unreasonable expectations.
    Oh, the people that got the contract? They went belly up without ever completing the job, but after collecting most of the money. Go figure.

  • http://www.fastpcnet.net John

    Yes, lack of security would be my big concern and from what I’m seeing on the droids they have a few revisions to go.

  • http://tothefuturewithlove.net/after_the_pink_goat denijane

    Don’t be ridiculous!
    Everyone can get screwed in such competitions if unfair requirements are added. For example if the requirement say “use M$ products” how exactly a non-Microsoft company can compete? And Google is a big company, there are very little things they cannot fulfill. If they didn’t, that means the requirements were unreasonable and favoring only one company – M$.

    And no guys, people don’t prefer M$ because it’s better, they just are too lazy to try anything else. I use Linux for years now, and I’m very happy with it. Only gamers prefer M$ and that’s because they don’t have a choice. But a government/administration is not supposed to care about gamers interest, right? People there should WORK, not PLAY!

    • Joe

      Quite the wide brush we are sweeping with there, don’t you think??
      Well I’m not lazy and I don’t like Linux. Actually, not entirely true – I do ‘like’ Linux. I admire that an OS has been built from scratch, with relatively little in the way of cash injection to help it along and is now at the point where it is, BUT, it is still not good enough for me to use it everyday.

      Windows is not perfect, but it is still the most usable and well-known OS out there.
      Let’s be fair, Linux is not perfect either! Even if Linux reaches the point, where it parallels Windows, there is still the issue of philosophy. If I choose to use Linux, then it means I have to accept its design philosophy – its filesystem, dependencies, lack of centralised registry db, etc.

      For the record – I’m not a gamer

  • Guest

    If the RFP included requirements that were specifically chosen that only Microsoft, or Microsoft based products could support, then it is not “boo frickin’ hoo”.

    Say for example there was a requirement that could be satisfied in a number of ways but, was worded such that only Microsoft’s method of satisfying the requirement would fit and, Microsoft had ownership of the method.

  • http://www.searchen.com Searchen

    This is probably unrelated, but Microsoft is so much more of a trusted name when it comes to PC software, and personal computer accessories than Google.. I would expect anyone to be more comfortable with Microsoft in thier personal space like email – ESPECIALLY with the GMail disaster months ago where they leaked all your contacts into the social network (BUZZ) temporarily to build your friend count… That was rediculous…. I have to agree with boo hoo, becuase that was really a rediculous occurance….

    • Guest

      “Trusted name”???

      Who are you trying to kid?

      They may be a ‘safe’ name. No one ever got fired for recommending a Microsoft solution, even if it turned out to be under-powered, user-hostile AND insecure but a ‘trusted name” only if you mean trusted to be insecure.

      Take a look at percentages of users for Windows Live Hotmail and Gmail and their relative directions and you’ll see people leaving Hotmail in droves.

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