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Windows 7: Google sues feds over Microsoft-centric bidding requirement

06 Nov 2010   #31


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
1. It is my understanding that this contract is for a "new" service - Cloud services, in fact? As such, I doubt that the arguments re. training, familiarity with current products, etc. apply much.
You seem to forget it's not just the "user experience". Users don't exist in a vacuum. There exists entire layers of support just to ensure business runs uninterrupted. Work in IT for a large corporation then come back and tell me changes that take literally 10 minutes for a single user works the exact same way for companies.

Last year we migrated several departments from IE to FF. Less than 2k users so it wasn't like it was a huge move, and it was only a freaking browser change. Took a whole month just to properly move everybody forward and we were still taking support calls long afterwards, from people unable to find their mailboxes to people sending printouts to the wrong network printer. Hell, we have sessions on how to move from Office 2003 to 2010. They started in July. They're still on-going.

It's not as simple as buying an X-type product from company Y, while ignoring company Z. It might work for your 3-man mom-and-pop corner store retail operation, but we're talking government-scale here.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2010   #32

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Horatio View Post
Several points, if I may:-
Remember, it's your tax dollars. For my own part, and Atlantic's width away from you, it's not material which of two American companies gets your tax dollars.
However, I'm convinced that if you ensure "proper" tendering and thereby competition in bidding for contracts of this sort, you will end up seeing better value for those dollars, whoever gets the contracts
Good point.

From a fair tendering perspective, competition is the key to getting fair and attractive pricing. Setting the RFQ requirements too narrowly will significatly reduce the playing field, the players left will not feel the need to reply with aggressive pricing structures.

The key to this whole scenario is to provide an acceptable product and services that meet the criteria of the requesting entity at the best value. They can then decide who qualifies.

Competition between company X and Y might save some of our tax dollars.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2010   #33

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

Total cost of ownership in a case like this particular tender requirement justifies the specification of Microsoft technologies because the actual cost of the tendered product will be, although substansial, only part of the TCO.

To use the car analogy stated above

If you are using Ford cars at present, and to facilitate this have invested in training / employing staff who know the Ford repair procedures, (down to the level of the unique structure of Ford Systems, not just the general mechanics). You also have invested in tools and spares to maintain the fleet.

If you do not specify the Ford requirement all this previous investment is wasted and the re-build of this infrastructure would far outweigh any potential savings from the actual tender cost, This could go so far that it would still cost more to change from Ford, if another manufacturer gave the cars for free.

This may not seem fair to another company trying to break into a particular market, but who says the world is fair, the agency setting the parameters for the tender have a duty, (and maybe even a legal requirement), to the people they represent, (not to the supplier), in this case the US tax payer, to reduce the TCO for the entire life of the project.

This would be the same if it were Microsoft trying to break into a market currently held by Google.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Nov 2010   #34

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

Just to point out, Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS), is not limited to being offered by Microsoft only. Several third-party vendors can offer servers and solutions that are based on BPOS with no connection to Microsoft's servers. Can in fact run it all on an intranet system if that is what is needed. Conversely, only Google offers the Google solution.

Extra, BPOS is being renamed/rebranded to Office 365.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2010   #35

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks for your responses, all.
There were some very good points there!

In truth, my only reason for posting at all was that I read the thread, and it seemed to be full of rather "jingoistic" comment. You guys have certainly redressed the balance since I posted, and I'm obliged to you

In particular:-

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Total cost of ownership in a case like this particular tender requirement justifies the specification of Microsoft technologies because the actual cost of the tendered product will be, although substansial, only part of the TCO.
That's absolutely true.
In fact, one would hope that the tendering process examined the anticipated total cost of the proposed solutions over the whole life cycle? It's no good buying a cheap printer if the ink is an arm-and-a-leg every week for the ink!

Just a couple of things before I (try to!) duck out of this thread.....

1. I had mentally confused this contract with another. The contract we are talking about is, I believe, for supplying some 80,000 people with e-mail, at a cost of about $57,000,000. Have I got that right now?

2. I know that it sounds a bit "over the top" for Google to be suing its "own" government about this, and one can't help but feel that it's a lost cause as far as this particular contract is concerned.
That set me wondering. I just wonder if this is a very high-profile "shot across the bows" by Google, a warning for the future in fact, to try to remind U.S. Government procurement agencies that they have a legal obligation to follow a proper tendering process, and not just specify Microsoft (or anybody else) on the old principle that "Nobody ever got fired for buying I.B.M."?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Google sues feds over Microsoft-centric bidding requirement

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