It all started when the US Department for the Interior decided to use the Imperium for its cloud based operations rather than the one lovingly designed by Google.
Google decided it was not having any of that and appealed to the court to let it have another go.
After a hearing Judge Susan Braden of the US Court of Federal Claims wrote, in an order made public late Tuesday, that a July decision by an assistant secretary naming Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal (BPOS) as the agency’s standard for messaging and collaboration did not include “proper justification or appropriate approvals.”
In other words the Department had just decided to go with the Imperium without looking at proper alternatives.
The judge told the US Department of the Interior to abandon procurement efforts for a Microsoft-only cloud computing contract.
She was concerned that the Department had decided on Microsoft without actually calculating how much it would cost, or asking around for any alternatives.
The agency declined to change its bidding process after Google showed it alternatives to Microsoft, the judge did not believe that the Department’s failure to list Google’s repeated express interest in this procurement could be explained as an oversight.
The Department of Interior contract is for $59.3 million over five years and limits the competition by telling bidders they must use Redmon’s cloud to deliver cloud-based e-mail and messaging services.
It is not clear why the Department opted for Redmond and then tried to bury any evidence that Google was interested in the project. So far, neither it, nor the Imperium has commented on the court decision.