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Google Apps Beats Office 365 For US Dept. of the Interior Contract

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the heck-of-a-commission dept.

Google 245

angry tapir writes "The U.S. Department of the Interior has picked Google Apps to provide cloud-based email and collaboration applications to about 90,000 staffers, choosing Google's services over Microsoft's Office 365. Google had sued the U.S. agency in 2010, claiming its requirements for the contract tilted the scales unfairly toward Microsoft. Google eventually dropped its lawsuit last September."

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ooh (4, Funny)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865167)

i can't wait to see what the MS shills have to say about this :)

Re:ooh (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865191)

i can't wait to see what the MS shills have to say about this :)

'It's the end of the WORLD!! The Mayans were RIGHT!!!! Woe are we, woe are we! Won't SOMEBODY think of our DIVIDEND CHECKS???'

DOI's original RFQ was biased towards M$ (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39865561)

DOI's original RFQ specified that only Microsoft solutions would be considered

Only after Google sued them (and then dropped the lawsuit) that DOI agreed to drop the "M$ only" clause

Re:ooh (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865221)

The lawsuits to prevent this deal will start right away of course. Microsoft has a legion of lawyers that can keep these folks in the dark ages for another decade.

Re:ooh (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865303)

Is this an example of the system working though? Mildly corrupt rules meet legal challenge, get changed.

Re:ooh (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39865349)

It's a measure of corruption. We ought not wish corruption because it brings other harmful things until we subsist on bark.

Re:ooh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866383)

Is it really corruption in this case? If not now, would it always be?

Government IT manager here (who refuses to say "cloud" because he's tired of the hype): While I personally think using a hosted app for things like word processing and spreadsheets is mildly insane for anybody that already has a well managed infrastructure, at least Office365 has a model where you can use locally running apps in addition to hosted ones. Google does not in any really useful sense. Also, in my particular agency we have multiple major commercially written systems covering about 90% of the business staff which rely on Office integration to do rather important things like generate documents--so anything that doesn't involve Office is just not going to work because we'd have to have Office anyway. Simple fact of life for now. So, would sticking with Office be corruption, or common sense?

Also, I can buy, say, Office 2007 when there is a compelling business need to upgrade (there was) and not buy the next version of Office when there is not a reason to do so (there wasn't). These hosted apps keep money flowing out of the budget constantly, which of course is why vendors, airline magazines, and paid shills keep pushing them.

I don't want to tell other people how to run their operations, but I surely don't want a court telling me how to run mine. Allowing fair competition among equivalent competitors is a good and awesome thing, and it actually works when the competitors are really equivalent. Just because they both do word processing and spreadsheets doesn't mean they're the same though. I wish Office wasn't so popular. I really wish vendors would support alternative document management and generation systems, and there are plenty of good ones out there, but for now that's what the market has given us. If Google wants to change that then Google needs to get other software vendors to use their stuff in the same way they use Microsoft's.

Re:ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865865)

You mean like, what Google's legion of lawyers did before they got the contract?

Re:ooh (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865229)

In other news, MS announced that they've terminates all their shills.

Re:ooh (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39865357)

Not likely (the fact, not the annoucement.)

Re:ooh (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865291)

Well, looks like you didn't need to wait long! This time the shill is "TehTech". You'd think they would be more creative with the nicks.

Re:ooh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865345)

Does anyone else see the irony of Slashdot posters whining about MS shills?

Literally EVERY MS story posted here for the last 15 years has been full of people bitching about MS. And yet if ONE person posts a pro-MS message then "OMG YOU'RE A SHILL SLASHDOT IS FULL OF SHILLS!"

It just makes my view of Slashdot (and the FLOSS community as a whole) get that much dimmer.

As for the story? I guess I could be snarky and say something about how Google can only win if they sue people who don't pick them. That sounds like extortion to me! Plus Google Docs doesn't have OneNote... which immediately makes Office Web Apps better. ;)

Re:ooh (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39865439)

I've been here about a decade. I've seen lots of spammers come and go. I've come to accept Goatse Guy and the Nigger Troll as part of what it costs to give and get my bit in an Internet forum. And that's OK. I browse at -1 to get both the grit and the gloss.

There are now some folk well paid to get top post, and comment on that post until the comments scroll down ad-infinitum of course. Maybe their managers think they're acheiving something on /., and if they're paying for that play I'm fine with that. Those guys gotta eat. One day we'll miss the "frosty piss" first post.

Before these folks were incompetent, and coudn't even string together a sentence in common Englush. They have evolved. Now they have skills and are getting better at it. But they miss that certain something - that "I don't know what" that moves them from marketing to legit. That's fine for me, because I always look closely at the new thing, but these new folk look to do an end-around flanking maneuver.

Re:ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865951)

I browse at -1 to get both the grit and the gloss.

Is the grit hot and covering Natalie Portman?

Re:ooh (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#39866305)

These days I wouldn't have been at all surprised if that comment was attached to the end of the summary, let alone the FP.

Re:ooh (1, Insightful)

mrmtampa (231295) | about 2 years ago | (#39866853)

symbolset, you've discovered the difference between PR and Marketing; PR spins the facts while Marketing simply makes them up

Re:ooh (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#39866905)

But they miss that certain something - that "I don't know what" that moves them from marketing to legit.

A conscience.

Re:ooh (4, Informative)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#39865533)

Literally EVERY MS story posted here for the last 15 years has been full of people bitching about MS. And yet if ONE person posts a pro-MS message then "OMG YOU'RE A SHILL SLASHDOT IS FULL OF SHILLS!"

It's not just about making positive posts about Microsoft that bring out the "shill" cries.

It's the:

1. New user with 10 posts
2. Vacuous pro-msft post - just content-free
3. Cheerleading
4. Rushed to the top of the page.

Having all these qualities in one posts guarantees that it's just a shill post. I caught one last week that was a first post.

Then there's the post that shows up in the top that is an obvious canned response that is so detailed and over-edited ahead of time, that it could not possibly be typed in by hand in the 30 seconds to beat the second post. Recoiledsnake was infamous for doing this, especially if it involved Metro. He hasn't done it since he was called out on this.

The theme that bonds these two types of posts together is their utter impersonality. They contain nothing of their authors' personalities. They are fake, the signature of the astroturf post.

--
BMO

Re:ooh (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#39865541)

There is supposed to be a less-than sign before the 10 in #1 up there, but Slashdot eated it.

--
BMO

Re:ooh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865777)

Or, to put it in more accurate terms:

1. Any user who hasn't been around for at least a decade is automatically a shill
2. "Vacuous pro-msft post" = "Actually made a bunch of real points that I refuse to address"
3. Identical to 2, but a list with only 3 items looks a bit anemic.
4. I only noticed the first few "MS shill" (read: honest pro-MS) posts because I have the attention span of a goldfish.

Re:ooh (2)

MS_Shill (2630275) | about 2 years ago | (#39865923)

"It's not just about making positive posts about Microsoft that bring out the "shill" cries."

I strongly disagree!

Re:ooh (2, Insightful)

jmulvey (233344) | about 2 years ago | (#39866057)

Pardon me, but I think you're a bit naive. When one group presents a uniformly evil projection of another, you're witnessing zealotry. Democrats/Republicans, Socialists/Capitalists, Open Source/Closed Source -- both sides produce some good in this world. They wouldn't continue to grow, and good people wouldn't continue to put forth good efforts for their causes for very long if they didn't.

Also, you're ignoring the fact that Slashdot is/was actively squelching those with a pro- (or at least not anti-) position on MS. Believe me, there have been many cases over the years where the site operators were caught futzing with the moderation system to squelch. Speaking for myself, I mysteriously lost mod points, permanently, years ago... and I was never really a very bad boy.

I still enjoy reading the site, but decided not to contribute much to a site where the operators felt the need to be that underhanded in forcing their ideology. I know the site has changed hands and perhaps gotten less heavy-handed as well in the process.

But if you're not reading Slashdot (or any other source of news) with an eye toward teasing out the bias, you're a bit naive.

Re:ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866521)

Literally EVERY MS story posted here for the last 15 years has been full of people bitching about MS. And yet if ONE person posts a pro-MS message then "OMG YOU'RE A SHILL SLASHDOT IS FULL OF SHILLS!"

It's not just about making positive posts about Microsoft that bring out the "shill" cries.

It's the:

1. New user with 10 posts 2. Vacuous pro-msft post - just content-free 3. Cheerleading 4. Rushed to the top of the page.

Having all these qualities in one posts guarantees that it's just a shill post. I caught one last week that was a first post.

Then there's the post that shows up in the top that is an obvious canned response that is so detailed and over-edited ahead of time, that it could not possibly be typed in by hand in the 30 seconds to beat the second post. Recoiledsnake was infamous for doing this, especially if it involved Metro. He hasn't done it since he was called out on this.

The theme that bonds these two types of posts together is their utter impersonality. They contain nothing of their authors' personalities. They are fake, the signature of the astroturf post.

-- BMO

Though I agree something is going on among first posts (but personally I believe it to be trolling, we shouldn't kid ourselves that Slashdot is worth spending time and money on for major companies this way). Even outside this there is an epidemic (yes, been her a long time, the volume and speed of it is "new") of calling people shills and astroturfers as soon as they are not aligned with the groupthink. I've seen people with long posting histories of Linux support been called M$ shills for trying to have a nuanced opinion or correcting facts on something Microsoft-related.

Re:ooh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#39866641)

how about the promoted by firehose entirely pro-MS articles or entirely anti-google articles?

That stuff annoys me more than your 1-4 honestly. Bonch posting articles, ever? No thank you, please.

Re:ooh (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#39866993)

>how about the promoted by firehose entirely pro-MS articles or entirely anti-google articles?

I honestly believe those are put on the front page because trolltastic articles bring clicks.

The real problem is that Microsoft shells out serious amounts of money to publishers like ZDNET for screeds from the likes of Ed Bott. For example, what really burns my Cheerios is when I turn on NPR and hear goddamn Robert Enderle pushing some Microsoft agenda. The sheer number of bought-off journalists makes it difficult to get raw numbers of actual good articles in the firehose.

Inb4 I get accused of wearing my tinfoil too tight: we've even got people in the community who purport themselves to be "defenders of Linux" who are bought off like Florian and Miguel.

--
BMO

Re:ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865535)

AC has dim view, and now the weather.

Re:ooh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#39866617)

slashdot represents actually fairly well informed posters. People who point out shills deliberately, because they detract from the entire posting system and make people waste moderation a little. That's also because that and flagging are all you can and rightly, should, do given the situation on slashdot. They thankfully don't remove posts, so about all you can do is highlight the dreck (such as yours), since anonymous commenting is allowed as well.

I'm not saying any of that is a bad thing - all of it is a good thing,it's just that this is what it takes to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

How about 'disappearing features'? (0, Flamebait)

kaladorn (514293) | about 2 years ago | (#39865361)

If Google's record on Google Docs and Gmail is any indication, they tend to update on *their* schedule (vs. any organization's schedule) and they freely delete key features (TOC in Google Docs comes to mind!).

Not sure why anyone in government would choose to have software they don't control the key feature set for.

In MS software, at least I could not update and not get the new misery until I felt like it. In Google's world, you get it when they tell you you'll get it and the changes they make, you'll just have to live with.

How anyone at Google could imagine a Docs rev without TOC (and it actually reformats old docs if you let it to remove existing TOCs) made sense, I can't imagine. But this is what you get if you let someone else control release schedules and inflict their current idea of feature set and UI on them on their timelines.

Re:How about 'disappearing features'? (4, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#39865463)

Err this is for web based stuff so no even with Microsoft they can update at a whim.

Not sure what your yammering about TOC's is about. The feature is still right there: http://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106342 [google.com]

Re:How about 'disappearing features'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865647)

Come on! This is a $35,000,000 contract between DOI and Google. Do you really think Google can remove features as they wish?

Re:ooh (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39865587)

I'm quite sure that in the better interest of Microsoft shareholders Microsoft will appeal this decision even unto the Supreme Court. And lose. But in the interim they will have made more money than they spent, because that's how they roll.

Re:ooh (1)

MS_Shill (2630275) | about 2 years ago | (#39865855)

I don't have to say anything!

Re:ooh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866413)

You don't have to be a shill to know that our bloated, inefficient government rarely makes smart IT decisions. I'm sure Google Docs is great and all, but I wouldn't count the gov't using it internally as a positive endorsement. As I'm sure anyone who's worked in It stuff in government knows, government rarely makes a smart decision.

Google does government favors, gov does back (-1, Troll)

TehTech (2629801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865207)

No wonder they won as they have been greatly working with the government lately. Hell, even secretly supporting CISPA! [antiwar.com]

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865227)

Nice, but no. Google does not support CISPA. Your marketing efforts are going to backfire here.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (0, Troll)

TehTech (2629801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865231)

So, I provide source for that and you come along defending Google with nothing else than "No, they don't do that! I'm not listening! Lalalalalalaa!". Nice.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39865245)

Antiwar is not a source. Try again.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (0, Redundant)

TehTech (2629801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865251)

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/04/23/google-admits-to-lobbying-on-cispa-but-wont-say-which-way/ [thenextweb.com]
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/google-helped-with-cispa-joins-cybersecurity-theatre/1238 [zdnet.com]

Google has admitted that it is lobbying on theCyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), The Hill has learned

Here’s Google on its public stance on CISPA: “We think this is an important issue and we’re watching the process closely but we haven’t taken a formal position on any specific legislation.”

Google is not alone in supporting CISPA, if it in fact does, as it will join tech giants Microsoft and Facebook in doing so, among others.

Still want to argue about this?

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865347)

Still want to argue about this?

The official statement of "we are watching where it leads before pulling our weight" and one politician claiming that they are secretly on his side doesn't make google suport CISPA. If google really supported it I think more than one politician would use it to bolster his arguments.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (1)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#39865441)

Google has admitted that it is lobbying on theCyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), The Hill has learned

  Here’s Google on its public stance on CISPA: “We think this is an important issue and we’re watching the process closely but we haven’t taken a formal position on any specific legislation.”

Google is not alone in supporting CISPA, if it in fact does, as it will join tech giants Microsoft and Facebook in doing so, among others.

Still want to argue about this?

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (2)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#39865447)

And the end of your first quote:

Google has admitted that it is lobbying on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), The Hill has learned, but the company is not saying what position it is taking. Therefore, it is difficult to parse what effect its lobbying may have.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865637)

Google publicly admitting that they're lobbying for CISPA would be extremely bad for Google's PR. Being against CISPA would have pretty much no negative PR for them, in fact it would likely earn them heaps of positive press. The fact that they refuse to state their position pretty much means they're lobbying for CISPA.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#39865325)

OK, fine. I'll quote the Google policy that prevents their support of this political endeavor: "Don't be evil." It's in the mission statement. It's not negotiable.

Re:Google does government favors, gov does back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865545)

No wonder they won as they have been greatly working with the government lately. Hell, even secretly supporting CISPA! [antiwar.com]

You need to be forked in the temple, shill.

I'm pretty sure /. just ate my post on this one... (5, Informative)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865267)

This shouldn't come as any surprise, since Google didn't have an outage due to a "leap year glitch". Any wonder why they skipped over Office?

Re:I'm pretty sure /. just ate my post on this one (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 2 years ago | (#39865317)

I had very much forgotten about that "glitch". Gee even first year programming students get screwed over that one and learn their lessons!
I'm glad someone in the US dept of interior didn't forget about that glitch though!

Re:I'm pretty sure /. just ate my post on this one (4, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | about 2 years ago | (#39865375)

And it's not even the first time MS has made that mistake. They did in with the Zune in 2008, then made the same mistake with Azure.

Re:I'm pretty sure /. just ate my post on this one (4, Funny)

Intropy (2009018) | about 2 years ago | (#39865635)

Geez. You'd think that one guy at Microsoft who writes all the software would have remembered last time he made that error and not duplicated it.

Re:I'm pretty sure /. just ate my post on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866817)

msn, bing?

ms seem just not that good with web stuff.

apps (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39865289)

I personally don't like the google apps and prefer much better the zoho solutions. I think Google apps are incredibly slow and immature, I cannot understand people using them not to say government departments.

Re:apps (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39865585)

The slowness is easily fixed by ditching dialup and getting a decent internet connection. The immaturity is fixed by the realization that it does ~90% of what people actually use. Power users won't like apps, but for most workers it's enough. I keep my financial administration (which uses a number of scripts and graphs) in Excel, but most other documents are in Apps.

Re:apps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866989)

In AC's defense. I had a 48,000 word doc in gdocs that would ROUTINELY start to freeze and stutter. Chrome claimed that tab was using 800 MB of memory. FF had similar numbers. I do not know if this is a side effect of having a 100 page doc in JS or just crappy JS.

Meeting accessibility/quality requirements (1, Offtopic)

Downchuck (1333195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39865297)

The lesson here is that modern software should be accessible. Google invested a lot of resources over the past few years to revamp their collaboration suite. The Docs/Drive interface which we all see is just one example. Take a look at the source code beneath. They've coded up ARIA, they've done appropriate testing for keyboard and focus management. Essentially, they followed WCAG2. Funny thing is that it took some embarrassing incidents years ago to get them on this path.

You want another example of how important making usability a focus of software is? Take a look at Apple -- their iPad's accessibility features are far better than those packed into Android tablets. Look at the mobile space: Blackberry thinks a11y is important but not important enough to make it a focus; Google thinks a11y is important but not enough to catch up with Apple. Guess who gets the perks there?

Microsoft certainly thinks a11y is important and as a result they've been the only choice for agencies for a long time. Anyway... that's the lesson.

Re:Meeting accessibility/quality requirements (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865353)

The accessibility of this post is lacking.

Re:Meeting accessibility/quality requirements (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39865593)

The a11y of this p2t is l5g.

FTFY

Libre Office (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865329)

What is the matter with these people? Anybody can load Libre Office, for free and legally, then use the thing for the rest of their lives without paying a cent. It is good old traditional office software, easily used by anybody familiar with any other office suite. No internet connection is necessary for normal use. There are no glaring security holes. How can these dopey bureaucrats pass up a deal like that?

To a bureaucrat (4, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#39865505)

Software is worth what it costs. Otherwise, Government procurement policies would be called into doubt.

You are right: there are no essential features lacked by Open or Libre Office. By essential, I mean stuff needed to present information. Therefore, Government departments could easily mandate that only that feature set is used. But the Microsoft argument is that if "free" means it only does 99% of what expensive does, free is worthless (even if the 1% is unnecessary.)

Take presentations. Almost all presentations would be precisely as meaningful if the slides were done in Wordpad with additional images. But, like medieval scribes, Microsoft has persuaded people that unless every page is an illuminated manuscript, the content is worthless. The arms race in manuscript production continued right up until Gutenberg, when people suddenly realised that movable type was easier to read. I await the day when some unknown 5-star general suddenly realises that Powerpoint is a waste of resources, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

Re:To a bureaucrat (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#39865609)

The main advantage of powerpoint over a series of media files is that powerpoint includes animations, fades and wipes.
Animations, fades and wipes in presentations are annoying and very few serious presenters still use them.

Re:To a bureaucrat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865617)

I await the day when some unknown 5-star general suddenly realises that Powerpoint is a waste of resources, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

http://slides.html5rocks.com/#landing-slide

Re:To a bureaucrat (1)

giorgist (1208992) | about 2 years ago | (#39866101)

Some major companies require that presentations are done in plain text. There is no point in fancy fonts and wipes ...
they in fact negate from the message by adding information to a slide that will distract.

Re:To a bureaucrat (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about 2 years ago | (#39865645)

Software is worth what it costs

full tard

Re:To a bureaucrat (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865707)

I await the day when some unknown 5-star general suddenly realises that Powerpoint is a waste of resources, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime

The military calls it "death by powerpoint". Gen. James N. Mattis & Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster are such commanders that have banned or severely restricted use of powerpoint under their command.
They found that their staff was spending more time preparing fancy slides than actually analyzing information or planning missions/operations. So they scrapped it.

Re:To a bureaucrat (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865751)

15 years ago, I worked for Lockheed Martin. Our customer, the US Navy, told us they didn't like Powerpoint presentations, as their information density is so extremely low. That wasn't a general though, so I guess it doesn't count.

Yes, the low information density of Powerpoint presentations is by design, and is allegedly a good thing. Me, I've always thought they were for stupid people. If you can't read high density information, you shouldn't be promoted to make important decisions.

Re:To a bureaucrat (3, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#39867319)

Sometimes all you need is a high level, low information density background to the actual speaker who will go into more detail on the subject. Some of the best presentations I've seen had the speaker clicking through slides with a single word over a picture, absolutely in time and in tune with the actual speech or discussing they were holding. It was glossy, well rehearsed, and worked perfectly. The only real issue that comes is when people try to use Power point in place of the high density, detailed information, instead of as a supplement.

Re:To a bureaucrat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865763)

Even free software costs money: you have to pay people for the time spent using it. Even if the commercial software only saves users 5 minutes per day, you get an extra half week of productivity out of your employees per year. Just 5 minutes a day! You could see how this can quickly add up and justify the "cost" of commercial software.

Re:To a bureaucrat (4, Insightful)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 years ago | (#39866015)

That also works the other way around. What if LibreOffice saves one an average of 5 minutes instead?

Re:To a bureaucrat (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 years ago | (#39867055)

Three times in one year Libre/Open office has mangled my files- any file it touched during a short periods of being in an unknown state are completely blanked. Sort of like the stares in the help forums regarding this issue. LibreOffice has reliability problems. In 20 years MS Office has done no such thing to me. /everyday corporate user.

Re:To a bureaucrat (1)

thoth (7907) | about 2 years ago | (#39866585)

I await the day when some unknown 5-star general suddenly realises that Powerpoint is a waste of resources, though I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

Especially when there aren't any 5-star generals currently, and I hope there won't be more since that level of promotion would require a significant war. ;)
But about your point, some commanders have restricted use of PowerPoint, finding their staff fiddling with the visuals more than the actual data.

Re:Libre Office (2, Insightful)

Verunks (1000826) | about 2 years ago | (#39865839)

does libre office provides you with an email client and server, cloud storage and document collaboration?
as usual slashdot readers don't actually read neither the article nor the summary

Re:Libre Office (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866527)

Why would a loner living in their patents basement need collaboration features?

I'll breakdown what I believe are the market segments:

Libre/Open Office = student
MS Office = large corporation/government entity that lacks innovation and shares info in one direction (shit flows downhill)
Google Docs = growth SMB collaborating and innovating

What do you believe?

There are no glaring security holes, LOL (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865875)

Other than the security nightmare called the Oracle JavaRE which it sits upon and is mandatory (for the office wizards) if you are to get any real use out of Libre Office, A product that together with Adobes Acrobat have consistently dominated the malware remote security exploit successes.

i would also rather not have "security updates" from a company that seems its acceptable to randomly offer me browser toolbars from seedy companies everytime i install their "security fixes", real professional stuff there, am i getting fixed or nailed this month ?.

So when LibreOffice gets rid of Java you might see it more, until then its just not worth the pain of maintaining Java for an office spreadsheet and a few docs.

Re:There are no glaring security holes, LOL (3, Informative)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about 2 years ago | (#39866059)

From http://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/system-requirements/ [libreoffice.org] :

For certain features of the software - but not most - Java is required. Java is notably required for Base.

Also, they're reducing Java dependency, but it obviously takes time until LibreOffice is fully c++.
http://mrpogson.com/2010/11/10/reducing-java-dependency/ [mrpogson.com]

Re:Libre Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866845)

money, has gotta to rotate. more rotation the better.

Re:Libre Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867133)

Office 365 and Google Apps are not really office suites - they are collaboration systems. Email and shared documents, stored in the "Cloud". Companies pay subscription fees for ubiquitous access, worry free data protection and no troublesome and expensive IT department to deal with.

how will they work with others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865397)

Because others are using monopoly-Offices closed format, how can they work together?

Shortsighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865399)

Just wait...PIVOT CHARTS! The thing we hate to use, must use, that G docs doesn't use. THAT should make life interesting LMFAO

Re:Shortsighted (2)

teg (97890) | about 2 years ago | (#39865481)

Just wait...PIVOT CHARTS! The thing we hate to use, must use, that G docs doesn't use. THAT should make life interesting LMFAO

Google Docs added the important thing, pivot tables [blogspot.com] , last year. The lack of this was a show stopper for many users earlier.

PivotChart is a trademark of Microsoft, and is just making a graph of a pivot table. That's easily done anyway.

Oh Slashdot (1, Troll)

humanrev (2606607) | about 2 years ago | (#39865423)

This story sounds kinda like it was posted on Slashdot basically to get people to say "Go Google! Suck on that Microsoft!", thereby retaining the status quo and ensuring continued readership.

Re:Oh Slashdot (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865495)

Yeah, because no one on Slashdot ever bashes Google, right?

Great Email but good luck with those docs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865523)

We use Google Apps at our school and while I love the mail, contacts, calendar, and free storage part, migrating Office docs is very poor. The converter does a bad job with tables and images. I tried to create a table layout with different column spans in a Google doc and gave up. I almost got it going in their spreadsheet doc but soon found out that you can one have one font style per cell. I gave up and went back to Word and shared the doc through Skydrive. I confused some people but in the end it got done.

With each day I'm beginning to regret my choice to move to Google Apps, especially now that Microsoft is offering 365 free for school come this summer. It's integration with Office is pretty slick. Yes I did try Google Cloud Connect but go read up on the proxy issues that thing has. Then again typical Microsoft always a few year's late to the game.

Re:Great Email but good luck with those docs (1, Troll)

crutchy (1949900) | about 2 years ago | (#39865683)

good luck with those docs

reads shillish. real google bashing has swear words. only those poor shills limited by internal shill policies would say something like "good luck with those docs".

imho, both office365 and google docs can suck my hairy fat cock. who in their right mind would trust their docs to a cloud service with ridiculous boilerplate disclaimers in their tou, and hosted in a country governed by satanists of the ninth circle of hell?

Re:Great Email but good luck with those docs (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | about 2 years ago | (#39866981)

We use Google Apps at our school and while I love the mail, contacts, calendar, and free storage part, migrating Office docs is very poor. The converter does a bad job with tables and images. I tried to create a table layout with different column spans in a Google doc and gave up. I almost got it going in their spreadsheet doc but soon found out that you can one have one font style per cell.

I've had the same experience. Trying to handle documents created in other programs frequently doesn't work right, giving a messed up layout. Working with spreadsheets is frustrating due to random little annoyances. It's enough of a hassle that I won't use google spreadsheets for anything more than simple tables of data.

I like Google Apps, it's not at the point where it works well enough that I'm willing to move to using it. I have noticed that many of my complaints have been getting fixed over time, so maybe someday.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865567)

Guess they don't care about security. Which is especially puzzling, seeing how the DoD just said it's own network was litterally the playground of foreign nations.

Misread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865591)

Anyone else misread that first part as "Google Apps Beats Off"?

Data security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865619)

If government is supposed to be by, of and for the people. Does anyone see a problem with placing govt. data on the infrastructure provided by a private for-profit institution?

Why have we gotten so used to this? Use of Google Docs was -outlawed- for public administration in Denmark not long ago and there are cases on Norway regarding the same thing working their way through the justice system right now.

Re:Data security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865699)

It's not like they had much of a choice.
Microsoft is also a "private for-profit institution", and I haven't heard of any non-profit or not-for-profit online storage solutions, lest one with at the quality and reliability of Google or MS for a client this large.

Re:Data security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865725)

How about the govt. use their data on and store their data (confidential such) using their own infrastructure? Is the political climate so hostile towards government operating their own infrastructure that this is unfeasible?

What, in principle, is wrong with a series of govt. serverfarms and proper techs/sysadmins to maintain it or is it just the tired old govt-can't-do-anything-rant that's in the way?

Security (2)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about 2 years ago | (#39865711)

Am I the only one thinking that a Government department - which will undoubtedly deal with privileged information at some point - should not be using a system which is designed to take said information out of their control?

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865823)

You're absolutely correct. But what these moves provide are scapegoats. If documents, emails, personal information get leaked it'll be google's fault.

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39865905)

Apart from police and military (all the cia fbi nsa etc.),
there is the free information act, this will make information more free, wouldn't it? why agency needs to hide information?

Tables turn (4, Interesting)

Spiked_Three (626260) | about 2 years ago | (#39865745)

For the record, I have participated on the MS team that bids government contracts. Not recently but many many years ago, when the climate was reversed.

MS: "We would like to bid on this project" govt: "No you cant, it must be SUN" or "no you must be ???" I can't even remember what the it was called, that is how truly relative it was, not relative then, forgotten about now. oh yeah, POSIX. Anyone even remember it?

So anyhow, despite objections for years MS became the standard anyway for quite a while.

If you can blame it on sleazy marketing then, why can't you blame the present shift on the same thing? The fact is he who does the best/most lobbying wins.

Re:Tables turn (2)

will_die (586523) | about 2 years ago | (#39866025)

I would not blame it on marketing or lobbying. I would blame it on the government and the security offices for Microsofts rise in power.
As someone who was on the other side of the fence we use to push for Unix systems because they were far more capable and with the same amount of training you could do a lot more from the admin level; and it has not been until the last 6-7 years that Microsoft finally surpassed in that area. However security offices got involved and started locking down Unix servers so to open a simple port was a multi-month process if you were lucky. With the Microsoft box there was very limit security lockdown so we started to get a lot more of those; also the prices for the Microsoft boxes were a lot cheaper so it was quicker to get purchased.

Re:Tables turn (5, Insightful)

wireloose (759042) | about 2 years ago | (#39866987)

As a government employee who had to plan and deal with sharing of information across thousands of systems, I often sat across the table from Microsofties who claimed that their software met our compatibility needs even though it didn't have even a basic IP stack at the time. We supported military engineers worldwide who had Sun, Apollo, Masscomp, Pyramid, and dozens of systems running a number of operating systems. Yet, they all had one thing in common - they were all POSIX compliant, and there were common tools and interfaces across all of them. Even when Windows finally got a native (sorta) IP stack, it still never got POSIX compliance. POSIX is a set of IEEE standards initiated in the 1980s, and was adopted into the NIST FIPS standards. The POSIX standards continued to develop until just 4 years ago. Most of the popular operating systems today are POSIX compliant, even certified. I wouldn't expect you to know that, though, being a MSoftie. Of all *mainstream* operating systems in use today, only Windows (in all versions) remains out of compliance. Microsoft has always fought against compatibility and portability rather than work with everyone else. The MSofties I knew were always trying to get us to drop all standards and just buy their stuff, with no care about how we could get it to work with what we already had.

Why are either of these good ideas? (3, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#39865831)

Why would I want government documents stored on a google or Microsoft server?

It's fine if the government owns and controls the server but if it doesn't we have a problem.

MS office or whatever you're using tend to run entirely on the local system or at least within your network. So its pretty much in the control over the organization that purchased it. But google docs runs on google server farms and my understanding is that MS 360 or whatever they're calling it does roughly the same thing.

That's a problem. If this is a micro cloud that will be completely owned and controlled by the US government, it's fine... but I worry that this is all getting routed through a generic google server farm. And that's a recipe for disaster.

Re:Why are either of these good ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39866237)

You will need an admin for the server anyway. You just propose to use a local, government-employed admin looking after government-owned servers instead of the Google-employed admin. Not sure that's a good idea.

Re:Why are either of these good ideas? (1)

c (8461) | about 2 years ago | (#39866335)

> Why would I want government documents stored on a google or Microsoft server?

Google's been selling their stuff as appliances for years. Search, Earth, etc. I haven't heard about Office, but they seem to understand the appliance model. So there's no reason the government wouldn't have this on a private cloud.

Dunno about Microsoft... I haven't heard anything about them pushing their major online services to appliances.

Re:Why are either of these good ideas? (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#39866973)

I guess I didn't understand the product then. So google will be selling the government actual physical machines with the software running on them and the government will control those specific machines?

If that's the case, I don't see any problem with it.

As to MS, if google was selling discrete machines, I'll assume MS was doing the same thing... just on a hunch.

So one versus the other? I'd probably stick with the MS one if only because I'd better the cloud version of Excel is better then the google equivalent. People that aren't excel junkies probably don't realize it, but that's a very sophisticated piece of software that has not really been surpassed by any of it's competitors. The open office version and libre office versions of it are no where near as good. They LOOK like excel but they don't really have the same functionality.

Maybe google docs does and maybe the cloud version of excel is more primitive. I'm just guessing here. But if you look past all the "M$" hate you have to admit they do make some very compelling and polished software packages within the sometimes myopic spectrum they dominate.

Re:Why are either of these good ideas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39867021)

Because it gets us (I work as a contractor for the USGS) off of Lotus Notes. ANYTHING is better than that...

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