Earlier today we talked about Google’s great victory over Microsoft in Virginia; Google received the business from more than a dozen government groups in Virginia, pushing Microsoft aside. Well, Microsoft – much like sleeping dragons who are being prodded – doesn’t exactly lie still. Rather, on the exact same day that Google was bragging about their progress in Virginia, it was announced that San Francisco was going with Microsoft.
This is a controversial decision for some. For one, it was a pretty big deal when San Fransisco signed on with Google just over a year ago. A 23,000 employee contract is nothing to smirk at, but thanks to San Fran’s reputation as a “technology area,” it also meant a boost to reputation. Far more importantly, though, Google representatives have stated that they were never approached for a proposal.
Beyond being a hurtful sort of rejection to throw at your previous system operators, not being approached for a proposal may mean that the municipal government wasn’t following accepted guidelines for government contracts, which require a bidding process to ensure that the lowest price and best software is used by government agencies. A Google representative (who chose to remain anonymous) stated, “Through a competitive bid process, the majority of customers choose Google, and the rest get a great deal on their Microsoft license.” This concern also hits on a sore spot for Google, since Google has previously taken action against government groups for choosing Microsoft without a bidding process (most notably the Department of the Interior, which handed Microsoft a $59 million contract; Google blocked the contract, requiring the agency to go through the approved proposal-seeking process).
Meanwhile, the San Francisco government defended their position by stating they considered both Google Apps and Lotus Notes but that Microsoft was a clear choice because it offered easy interoperability with other applications they were running (including Azure, PowerPoint, and Word).
[via Google Watch]