Google drops its lawsuit versus the Department of Interior, the government agency it sued last year for picking Microsoft cloud collaboration software without looking at Google Apps or others.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) nixed its lawsuit versus the Department
of Interior after the government agency decided to forego procuring a
cloud-based email and collaboration system from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) without
looking at other vendors.
The DOI in 2009 selected Microsoft's Business
Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)-Federal software suite, agreeing to pay the
software giant $59.3 million for its 88,000 employees to use the Web services
over five years.
Google sued the DOI last October in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
, claiming the government agency set its sights on Microsoft without pursuing alternatives
such as the rival Google Apps suite, which offers Web-based Gmail and Google
Docs collaboration software.
Google asked Judge Susan Braden to halt the DOI
proceeding with installing Microsoft BPOS-Federal at the DOI.
Braden Sept. 27 convened a status hearing where she said
Google withdrew its lawsuit after the DOI relinquished its rights to the
Microsoft contract. The DOI claimed the research it used in picking the
software giant's product "is now stale in light of new developments in
technology and entrants into the market."
"The court has determined that the interests of
justice are served by dismissing this case," Braden wrote in her ruling.
Braden said the DOI is currently preparing
a new request for information from vendors from whom it may purchase cloud email
and collaboration providers.
"We're pleased with the outcome of our discussions
with the Department of Interior, and look forward to the opportunity to compete
for its business and save taxpayers money," a Google spokesperson told
Microsoft chimed in with a tone showing it's a good sport:
"We are pleased the case has been dismissed, and that the Department of Interior can proceed to obtain the secure email system it needs. We are fully prepared to continue competing for the Department's business and are confident that we offer the best cloud solutions and value."
Google Apps essentially kick-started the cloud
collaboration software market in 2007. Microsoft came on strong in 2010 with
BPOS, providing a mix of hybrid on-premises and cloud services. BPOS is now part
of Microsoft Office 365, which launched formally this past summer.
Microsoft secured the United States Department of Agriculture's business
collaboration software in May 2010. Google landed a cloud collaboration contract with the General Services
late last year.
The two engaged in a nasty war of semantics over whether Google Apps
had a crucial government