Open letter to Google: Don't sue the government, just make Apps better

Summary:An open letter to Google: questioning whether a lawsuit against the US Government was wise for Generation Y perception, but if Google Apps is even up to the job in the first place.

Dear Google,

You are suing the US Department for the Interior over a 5 year contract to outsource its communications worth nearly $50 million, because they chose Microsoft's locked-down rival cloud service instead.

I understand that you are rightfully annoyed, by not only the monetary value of the contract, but the fact that the US DoI didn't even consider Google Apps for the job; not even a mere glance.

Chris Dawson thought you should have just "kept your mouths shut" and carried on with the highly competitive edge that you have over various other products, especially in light of the recent global privacy scandal where Street View cars collected wireless payloads.

To spare you any more chatter, I'll keep my thoughts brief. Wake up, smell the coffee, and pour yourself a few cups.

Instead of kicking up a fuss that you weren't even considered, perhaps you should have examined why Google Apps wasn't contemplated in the first place and made proactive steps to make it better?

If you found this move by the US DoI offensive, it made me wonder why you haven't hurled lawsuits at universities publicly denouncing Google Apps for Education as having 'unacceptable' levels of privacy. Though universities and institutions of education do not pay for the outsourced cloud offerings of either Microsoft's Live@edu or Google Apps for Education, you rely on good press from these institutions to build up the portfolio for other potential education customers.

So perhaps you should take a step back, retract the lawsuit and reconsider your position. If a government department doesn't even bother to consider the service you have to offer, for whatever reason they may or may not give, perhaps ask yourselves why.

Universities have not 'gone Google' for various reasons, practical and otherwise. Google may not consider student or university email to need high-grade security, but Microsoft clearly took a proactive step in producing a derivative service aimed at such an eventuality.

But also take into account the message you are setting out. Perhaps this news story won't filter through to every student and young person in the world, but I am sure most people who read the story will feel that Google is stamping its feet in a childish rage.

It has a knock-on effect, and for the students who do read this story and the other thoughts and opinions around this lawsuit you presented, you could be doing further damage with them when they enter the workplace.

Go back and start work on Google Apps using a competitive edge, instead of applying your existing Gmail mod-like service as a quick fix to fill the market.

Lots of love,

Zack x

Topics: Google, Government, Government : US

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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