The United States Department of the Interior has been sued by Google, Inc. in regards to bidding over the agency’s e-mail contract. According to an article in The Los Angeles Times, Google claims that the Interior Department excluded its bid and deliberately favored Microsoft to supply the agency with its e-mail system. As a Cabinet-level agency, the Interior Department employs about 88,000 individuals working to sustain and manage natural and cultural resources throughout the U. S., making it a desirable customer for large corporations like Google and Microsoft.
Based on the lawsuit, which was filed on October 29 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the Interior Department stated that it would take offers into account from systems that utilized Microsoft’s business e-mail software. Google referred to this limitation as “unduly restrictive of competition.” In seeking to stop the Interior Department’s process of initiating an e-mail contract with Microsoft until it adheres with the law, Google alleges that the agency has violated federal law mandating that government agencies use open and competitive procedures when soliciting contracts.
The article states that Google has been up against Microsoft on a national level to better establish itself in a $20-billion office software market. And yes, you did just read “billion.” It seems as though every business, whether it employs 5, 50, or 50,000 people, interacts with employees, existing clients, and potential clients through e-mail. And many of us know that a business e-mail may seem like a dead end to some without a website.
Microsoft has been in the lead in the race of office and e-mail software worldwide with its Outlook and Office products.
In its lawsuit, Google claims that the Interior Department’s chief technology officer told Google executives that “a path forward had already been chosen” and that Google wouldn’t be able to compete due to a lack of its product complying with Interior security requirements.
Whether the Interior Department officials showed favoritism to Microsoft and limited Google’s ability to bid on the e-mail contract or not, one thing stands true: the Internet plays a key role in the functionality and accessibility of a business, no matter how big or small.