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Author Topic: Google sues the U.S. government  (Read 3266 times)

kyrathaba

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Google sues the U.S. government
« on: November 02, 2010, 06:03:24 PM »
Google is suing the United States government!  Apparently, Google feels it necessary to challenge a Dept. of the Interior move in order to preserve potential marketshare...
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 06:44:31 PM by kyrathaba »

Renegade

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 08:38:58 PM »
Google is suing the United States government!  Apparently, Google feels it necessary to challenge a Dept. of the Interior move in order to preserve potential marketshare...

Wow. That's pretty low.

Reading through, it sounds like the department there is saying we want to do "X", while Google is saying, "No, you must do Y".

e.g.
a) Hi. I'd like to pay someone to help me do some work in MS Excel.
b) Wah~! You're not using Lotus 123. I'm telling on you~!

Sigh... Lawyers just make the world such a wonderful place...

It just never stops. :(
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zridling

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 03:16:38 PM »
Actually this is a bidding procedure issue. The department bought Microsoft licenses without giving anyone else a chance to bid on the software. For me, government shouldn't be paying any corporation -- Google included -- for proprietary software. It's a waste of taxpayer money in this age.

wraith808

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 03:40:33 PM »
Actually this is a bidding procedure issue. The department bought Microsoft licenses without giving anyone else a chance to bid on the software. For me, government shouldn't be paying any corporation -- Google included -- for proprietary software. It's a waste of taxpayer money in this age.

No, it looks like they gave opportunities for bids- they just wanted it to fit with their current MS infrastructure, which I think is a valid point.

Renegade

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 05:10:30 PM »
Actually this is a bidding procedure issue. The department bought Microsoft licenses without giving anyone else a chance to bid on the software. For me, government shouldn't be paying any corporation -- Google included -- for proprietary software. It's a waste of taxpayer money in this age.

No, it looks like they gave opportunities for bids- they just wanted it to fit with their current MS infrastructure, which I think is a valid point.


Zaine, you've got a very valid point. There's no sense in throwing money away if you don't have to. I do think that the larger issue is one of having software that is open and free as in freedom though.

Still, if it costs more to train people with other software, then you're still worse off. If your maintenance costs are higher, again, worse off. I think it depends a lot on what software it is. But if you can get away with free, then hey, all the better.

When it comes to MS Office, it's hard to get around it. It's used across every industry and everyone needs to interoperate with it. If other office suites had better support for MS Office documents, there would be more realistic options. Last I checked though, that support wasn't there to the degree needed.

It's still kind of a bad situation.

The government makes a lot of the problems for itself though. The runaway insanity in the patent office is a large part of the problem. With a lot of FOSS you don't get any kind of indemnification, so if there's a patent violation, you're an open target. This is a large part of the problem for a lot of companies. The government has fostered an environment of fear of litigation. :(

I remember licensing some software to IBM, and they needed additional clauses in the license agreement because of that.

I don't know how those problems can be solved. There's really no practical reason for not adopting a lot of FOSS software or freeware.
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Josh

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 05:56:24 PM »
Another issue with using FOSS software is that of support. While small tools might work for parts of a business, when a company needs a tool as vital as an office suite, or an operating system platform, support is a must. This could be in the form of support provided by the vendor, or support provided by tech support staff. If the staff is not familiar with the products you use, it costs more to train them. If the products you use are not a common tool in the industry, you will end up paying more for the personnel trained in it. Another issue is that if a problem creeps up when using your products, who do you contact? I've run into this on the consumer end with FOSS software. One response I've been told quite frequently is to just use the community forums or newsgroups. That is well and good if you have an active forum or someone willing to help with your issue.

Many businesses that invest in a product for their core business will often require some form of support or maintenance on that product. Many FOSS products do not offer this. Where do I go for libreoffice support? Is there paid support? Is there a dedicated forum for support for users who choose to use a product in a core part of their company? When a product's primary support is via a user forum, it can make a corporation uneasy. What if there is a major bug with the product? The biggest response I receive is that either A. Wait until it is patched or B. Take the source and fix it yourself. Is this going to work for a business? Doubtful. Whereas, with a proprietary vendor, you will see that if the customers paying for their products say there is a problem, 9 times out of 10 there is someone there to listen and provide either a temporary work around, a patch, or some other fix action. This is NOT ALWAYS the case, but when you purchase support with your product, the issues are generally given higher priority.

Case and point, where on the Document Foundations site do you find support contacts?

http://www.documentf...ndation.org/contact/

No contact information for support. The only support information I can find is mailing list support. So if I as a business owner want to use libre office for the core document production of my business and I run into an issue, I am left with relying on a mailing list.

http://www.documentf.../contribution/#lists

What happens if I get no resolution on my issue?

PLEASE NOTE: This is not an attack on libreoffice, I merely am using them as an example. This can apply to almost any product.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 06:00:28 PM by Josh »

Renegade

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 07:09:56 PM »
+1 Josh

This is one of the primary reasons that I often go for commercial software over free software. When I need something for part of my business that I'm going to rely on heavily, I need that assurance that there is support there if something goes wrong.
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app103

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2010, 02:54:54 AM »
If Google was in the aluminum cookware business, their complaints would probably look something like this:

Government: We have 88,000 microwave ovens and we need some cookware. The cookware must be microwave safe.

Google: Oh, that's unfair. You need to drop that "microwave safe" requirement so we can have a chance at selling you some cookware too. That "microwave safe" requirement is anti-competitive to us aluminum cookware makers.

Renegade

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Re: Google sues the U.S. government
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 02:56:55 AM »
If Google was in the aluminum cookware business, their complaints would probably look something like this:

Government: We have 88,000 microwave ovens and we need some cookware. The cookware must be microwave safe.

Google: Oh, that's unfair. You need to drop that "microwave safe" requirement so we can have a chance at selling you some cookware too. That "microwave safe" requirement is anti-competitive to us aluminum cookware makers.

Hahhaahah~! I love that analogy! Made me laugh! :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker