EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.03.10

Google Sues the Government for Serving Microsoft and Not the Industry, Should Sue Microsoft for Racketeering Too

Posted in Courtroom, Google, Microsoft at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sacramento town hall

Summary: Microsoft’s illegal dealings with governments are increasingly challenged in the courtroom, but patent extortion too should drag Microsoft into court because it is probably a violation of the RICO Act

GOVERNMENT contracts are an area where taxpayers need to be served. Unlike a private unaccountable tyranny, a government is obliged to do what’s best for those who elected it. Over in Switzerland, the government is still being sued for strictly requiring Microsoft software rather than specifying a required functionality and then looking at companies that provide that. We wrote about the subject in chronological order as follows:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
  13. When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”
  14. Microsoft’s Allegedly Illegal Swiss Contracts to Take People to Court Again

The United States is seeing a similar case now that “Google Sues U.S. Over Unfair Cloud Contract”:

Google wants to compete for the government contract but the Request for Quotations (RFQ) “specified that only the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal (BPOS-Federal) could be proposed.”

Google claims that a “Limited Source Justification” directive issued by the agency’s director of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management on August 30, 2010, represents single-source procurement “that is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of direction, and otherwise contrary to law.”

This the second time in recent months that Google has allegedly run into this problem. The company made similar claims informally following the State of California’s decision to award a hosted e-mail contract to Microsoft last month.

California officials denied Google’s claims that the state’s process was unfair.

Google’s lawsuit against the federal government describes a courtship with DOI officials that began in June, 2009, during which, the company alleges, it received tips that Microsoft’s success in the bidding process was pre-ordained.

There’s more here and a lot of other news sites:

Google has set its sights on the business of the United States government, much to the dismay of the government. The company filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior on Friday over its request for proposals and quotes for a system to handle messaging needs. The request stated that the solutions had to use the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, a requirement that Google is saying is “unduly restrictive of competition.”

Now that Microsoft is suing Android distributors and moreover extorts (which is probably illegal), Google should also sue Microsoft for racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. We previously suggested that Red Hat should do this, but Red Hat is already busy suing the Swiss government and it has not yet sued Microsoft based on the RICO Act. If nobody challenges Microsoft for it, the racketeering will carry on and expand to more victims.

Speaking of Android, the only way Microsoft thinks it can stop the momentum of this rival is apparently software patents it cannot name and one columnist believes that Steve Ballmer has “gone bonkers”. To quote some bits:

I think it finally happened. We’d all been expecting it for a while now, but not quite so suddenly or emphatically: Steve Ballmer has gone completely insane. [When asked about Windows phone] Ballmer replied: “We’re early; there’s no question we’re early. [...] I think we kind of nailed it. When you see it, you just go ‘ooooh’.” [...]

I suppose if we’re talking geological time, then Ballmer’s right, Microsoft is on the cusp of the smartphone epoch, and the dinosaurs just went for a dip in the tar pits. But in a market where a three-month-old device needs to be checked for liver spots and signs of dementia, spotting the competition three-plus years and then coming up with something that almost meets the smartphone standards set in 2007
is not exactly being early. It’s certainly not “nailing” it — unless we’re talking about a coffin. [...]

In all, it seems like a fine but flawed phone. Fine but flawed isn’t going to cut it. Fine but flawed doesn’t win horse races. They don’t put the Miss America crown on the head of the girl with pretty eyes
and a nose like a rutabaga. You don’t come back from the dead (or Windows Mobile 6, which is worse than being dead) and topple Apple, Google, or BlackBerry with a phone that’s fine but flawed. You have to
do better than that. [...]

But I’m thinking he’s starting to lose it. I’m serious.

Think about it this way. You just lost the guy who was supposed to drag your company out of the last century and into the new one. He was preceded out the door by a half-dozen of your top lieutenants — the ones who weren’t already lured away by Google or Facebook. Financial analysts are asking you point blank if your company is, if not toast, then possibly a soggy bagel with mold around the edges. Despite
buckets of profits, journalists are writing your obituary. [...]

At least I have my Halloween costume all set. I’m going as Frankenballmer. He’s just the kind of guy you could see laughing maniacally while chasing people down the street with an axe. I can’t think of anything scarier.

In the next post we are going to write about Microsoft’s real results. It’s not as rosy as it would have the corporate press print.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts