Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

Summary: Another day, another public Microsoft vs. Google skirmish. This latest spat is over FISMA. Isn't there a back alley somewhere where this can be settled?

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Another day, another public Microsoft vs. Google skirmish. Isn't there a back alley somewhere where this can be settled?

On Monday, David Howard, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, launched a blog post questioning Google Apps' security cred. At issue is whether Google Apps for Government is compliant under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Indeed, the stakes are high and Google and Microsoft have been jousting in court of state contracts and an level competitive playing field. Howard writes:

Last year, the Department of the Interior selected Microsoft offerings for its new cloud-based email system. In October, Google responded by suing the Government. As a result, the work of engineers and IT professionals was replaced, at least temporarily, by filings by lawyers. This meant significant delay for the Department of the Interior, which was trying to save millions of dollars and upgrade the email services for its 88,000 employees. Google announced its lawsuit with a proclamation of support for “open competition.” It then touted the security benefits of Google Apps for Government. Google filed a motion for a preliminary injunction telling the court three times in a single document (see pages 18, 29, & 37), that Google Apps for Government is certified under FISMA.

Then Howard notes that the Department of Justice said that Google doesn't have FISMA certification. Google Apps Premier has the FISMA certification, but Google Apps for Government doesn't (the application is in process). One point worth noting: FISMA isn't a certification. It is a law.

Google said in a statement via CNet News that:

Google Apps received a FISMA security authorization from the General Services Administration in July 2010. Google Apps for Government is the same system with enhanced security controls that go beyond FISMA requirements.

Howard comes back with:

Google can’t be under the misimpression that FISMA certification for Google Apps Premier also covers Google Apps for Government. If that were the case, then why did Google, according to the attachments in the DOJ brief, decide to file a separate FISMA application for Google Apps for Government?

But Google noted that it has not filed a separate FISMA application for Google Apps for Government. Also see Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft and Google: Who's the most FISMA-compliant of them all?

This FISMA fight is just one more data point that the Microsoft-Google relationship is becoming increasingly hostile.

For those that cover tech sports, these skirmishes can be mildly entertaining. For the real IT buyers, the Microsoft-Google catfights make both sides look big and whiny. The biggest risk here is that customers tune both parties out as a case of "monopoly A said, monopoly B said."

Topics: Apps, Cloud, Google, Government, Government US, Microsoft

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25 comments
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  • FOS = SOS

    FOS1 vs FOS2

    *yawn*
    klumper
  • Has Google figured out how to sort GMail yet?

    Paging Google, keep paging. Customers are waiting, and their patience is shrinking and about to switch to MS Office.
    LBiege
    • Sorting was an old way to search for contacts that is rendered useless by

      the full search capabilities of gmail. It would be stupid for Google to implement all of the baroque legacy features of Microsoft products. Specifying the sort capability is just a bogus way for people to eliminate Google because it take a much smaller head could to support. Obviously IT people do not like that.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

        @DonnieBoy

        Actually no...sorting is a basic functionality that Google can't support. Instead, Google chooses to fool not smart people into thinking this functionality is no longer needed because search is now "be all and end all." The not so dumb people know it is not the case, but it appears you are not seeing it clearly...Hmmm, not to self?
        mikies
      • mikies: I personally have NEVER used the sort feature for email. Give ONE

        example of where sort is useful?
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

        @DonnieBoy [i]Sorting was an old way to search for contacts that is rendered useless[/i]

        It's also a nice way to sort e-mail. How nice it is to be able to do either depending on my needs, sort... search.... search... sort. Too bad you and Google don't feel it necessary simply because it doesn't meet YOUR needs.
        Badgered
  • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

    Girls put your claws away, it becoming embarrassing.
    Knowles2
  • Another day, another cat fight.

    isn't that illegal in most states?
    Will Farrell
  • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

    In fairness to Google, the Government wasn't trying to save money, time maybe, but not money. They took the taxpayer funds and gave MS the contract without a bid. No bid contracts are a little ridiculous and the EU has banned them from practice.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-bid_contract

    That should outline it.
    hoaxoner
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

      @hoaxoner Fairness to Google? Sorry, but if they didn't come to the table with the compiant software...then why the heck would the government even give them an opportunity to bid? Would NASA go to Kia to have them bid on making them a plane? NO you moron...they would go to um...let's say the pro's the biz...like Boeing...or Airbus, etc. Wow, so glad our citizens are so well informed.
      EDzdnet
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

        @danceoniGoogle
        Your rhetoric is tiring. I did not say that the choice should be google. I merely said the practice of no bid contracts is abhorrent.

        Additionally, if you read the case at all, Google consistently attempted to engage the DOI with compliant software.

        Bringing up a Korean car company and NASA is a red herring argument that is meant merely to deceive and has no bearing on, well, anything really.

        And, generally speaking, when reduced to insults, you really lose credibility.

        Good day.
        hoaxoner
  • Gotta do it

    I spent a few years playing the government procurement game in Washington, DC. This is everyday stuff. The companies that lose on the technical merits -- or on the price -- file protests claiming that The Other Guys didn't dot all seven i's and one of the crosses on the t's was crooked. Those protests hardly ever work, but if you never file any you get tagged as a 'pushover' and the less-than-honest gubment types who want to steer a deal a certain way will drive right over you.
    Robert Hahn
  • They're the same product

    "Google can?t be under the misimpression that FISMA certification for Google Apps Premier also covers Google Apps for Government."

    They're the same product with different pricing bundles. So yes they are the same.

    Google Apps is free for non commercial use.
    Google Apps for Business is $50 per 33 GB.
    etc.
    guihombre
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

      @guihombre Sorry...not the same as Google Government. FAIL!!!!
      EDzdnet
      • Yes they are

        Yes they are, its Microsoft claiming that the enhanced security constitutes a different product, and they have a vested interest in making that claim.

        And Google were never even considered let alone rejected under a claim of 'not covered by the FISMA certification'.

        This is all justification after the fact of a no bid Microsoft contract.

        So Google are perfectly right to make that claim and fight that rubbish in court.
        guihombre
      • I agree. Google makes rubbish, so they should be able

        @guihombre
        to defend that rubbish in court.

        Good point.
        John Zern
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

        @John Zern
        When guihombre said "fight that rubbish in court", how could he have meant google's own software. That would imply that Google is fighting their own software. Ironic how blind hate can handicap your comprehension of simple sentences.
        anono
  • Google is totally right

    There is NO WAY their products could just not be what's needed or anything. /sarcasm
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

      @goff256 <br> This article isn't about whether Google apps government meets the needs of the government, but whether it has passed a certification (yet). Obviously it's going to pass eventually as google apps have already passed.
      anono
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google war of words: Effective use of time?

        @anono
        Ignore him. He's just looking for attention.
        LTV10