Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

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

Comments Filter:
  • ooh (Score:4, Funny)

    by mug funky (910186) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @01:48AM (#39865167)

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

    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      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???'

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      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.
      • Is this an example of the system working though? Mildly corrupt rules meet legal challenge, get changed.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          It's a measure of corruption. We ought not wish corruption because it brings other harmful things until we subsist on bark.
    • In other news, MS announced that they've terminates all their shills.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 sound

      • Re:ooh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by symbolset (646467) * on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @03:02AM (#39865439) Journal

        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.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          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.

        • by Hatta (162192)

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

          A conscience.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            The actual issue is that nobody really talks like these assholes. They have a list of words they have to work into the comment and every word that only an astroturfer would insert into a comment, or into a particular place in a comment, requires a whole bunch of other words as camo and chaff. And these words wind up being bullshit too, even if someone hired them on Maven for their experience with EDA or whatever. And since we've been training our brains to determine what is or is not a real slashdot comment

        • by cHiphead (17854)

          I've been here about a decade

          Looks at your six digit /. ID

          How quaint.

          Braces for the 4 digit IDs to show up and shake fists/warn about staying off lawns

          Joking aside, after a decade of doing 'IT' stuff, I ended up as the IT Manager for a Marketing/Ad Agency. Companies do in fact hire shills for even chickenshit subtle commenting purposes, and there is an entire market of blogging/commenting shills out there for any and every possible purpose. Its way worse than anything we could previously conceive of, to the point of some weird seemi

      • Re:ooh (Score:5, Informative)

        by bmo (77928) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @03:37AM (#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

        • by bmo (77928)

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

          --
          BMO

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

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

            < is part of HTML tags like <i> and <b>, so it interprets it rather than displaying it. To make one, type &lt;

            Oh, and the preview button is handy in cases where the comment might not come out like you wanted it <hits"preview">

        • by MS_Shill (2630275)
          "It's not just about making positive posts about Microsoft that bring out the "shill" cries."

          I strongly disagree!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jmulvey (233344)

          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-) posit

          • Democrats/Republicans, Socialists/Capitalists, Open Source/Closed Source -- both sides produce some good in this world.

            Except the Republicans . . .

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          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.

          • by bmo (77928)

            >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 diff

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        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

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Speaking well of MS doesn't make one a shill, but it's HOW you speak of MS. If it sounds like it came from a marketdroid it's almost certainly a shill. If it's "Windows bla bla" in an Apple story it's probably a shill. If it's praising Microsoft and lying about Linux and Apple, it's either a shill or a troll.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      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.
  • by idbeholda (2405958) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @02:20AM (#39865267) Journal
    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?
  • Libre Office (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @02:36AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @03:20AM (#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.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        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 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by crutchy (1949900) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:14AM (#39865645)

        Software is worth what it costs

        full tard

      • Re:To a bureaucrat (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:31AM (#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.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          They found that their staff was spending more time preparing fancy slides than actually analyzing information or planning missions/operations. So they scrapped it.

          Powerpoint is for presentations that have to impress someone who doesn't work for you. As such it is typically abused, because usually it makes people wonder why you have caused yourself such a massive headache. Anyone who really needs to use it has time to use it, or indeed, has staff to use it.

      • Re:To a bureaucrat (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:49AM (#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 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @09:50AM (#39867319) Journal
          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.
      • by thoth (7907)

        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.

      • That argument would make sense if they chose Microsoft's solution. So what you're saying is that Microsoft has instilled so much FUD regarding FOSS that the Dept of Interior chose Google?

      • by slew (2918)

        Otherwise, Government procurement policies would be called into doubt

        I would think the recent GSA western region scandal put all doubt to rest about Government procurement policies, right?

      • by ZiakII (829432)
        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.)

        You really think it is only 1%? If you were trying to sell that Google Docs compared to Microsoft 365 lacked 1%, I would of believed you.
        • I remember looking up how I could have a spreadsheet link to another spreadsheet and auto-update every minute

          But... why would you want to do that? Even an AJAX query would be more efficient. Even MS Access would seem to be a better solution. Spreadsheets aren't databases.

          • *may* suck in the real world for a variety of reasons.

            For X amount of data (less than a few million rows), excel is a perfectly adequate flat file database if don't need a relational database -- and many items don't. This isn't VisiCalc anymore on computers with 640k of memory.

            Ajax? REALLY???? Most people I know who use Excel heavily are not programmers -- they are accountants. I know of about 1 in 50 accountants have any idea what the hell Ajax is, much less any ability to do anything with it. Why sho

            • Why should I pay an IT consultant / IT department 1000's when I can do something that meets my needs in 10 minutes.

              I think that may be why you're viewing it this way. It sounds as if you work in a small business, and in that case this usage may make sense. In larger corporations you have to deal with things such as multiple users accessing the same spreadsheet simultaneously, users creating macros that work albeit in a disruptive way, etc. In these larger corporations, data tends to be warehoused centrally where it's scrubbed and formed as needed, and distributed to users in various ways. In places I've worked, the solu

              • by sgent (874402)

                I've worked in both -- including a stint as a full time job in creating / working with dashboards and report generation in Cognos, etc. for an insurance company with 5000+ employees. We still had to pay IT via interdepartmental billing.

                There are some things that RDMS's are just bad at. If I need to generate reversing entries and allocations to close out a month, a RDMS is slow and not very capable -- and Excel is great at it. I would still upload the final product to the database at the end of the day.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Verunks (1000826)
      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
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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,

    • by jon3k (691256)
      There are more costs than just the software itself. Nothing is really "free". It has to be designed, installed, configured and maintained. I know this will cost me 10 years worth of karma but, Google Docs solves the other problems you have when trying to manage 90,000 (!!!) desktop running an Office suite:

      1. No more upgrading 90,000 individual installations
      2. Backups and versioning are not only automatic, but users can roll back their own documents without IT
      3. Sharing and collaboration (simultaneous
    • by Fri13 (963421)

      Yes, anybody can load and install it. It is very capable software, I use it. But I have started to prefer google docs because I can just drop working and take a hike to road or change workstation without worrying did I save the document and where I did and how I get it.

      But what I want, is to now build a owncloud system behind a Plug-PC what would have just enough space for me (250GB is enough) and mount that to all Unix workstations for me and family members.

    • by swillden (191260)
      The RFQ was for collaboration software. LibreOffice doesn't provide real-time collaboration features.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 go

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by crutchy (1949900)

      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?

    • 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 mayb

  • by PSVMOrnot (885854) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:32AM (#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?

  • Tables turn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spiked_Three (626260) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @04:45AM (#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.
    • by will_die (586523)
      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
    • Re:Tables turn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wireloose (759042) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @09:15AM (#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.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      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?

      You're joking (or trolling), surely. But if people at Microsoft really do think this way, it certainly would explain a lot.

    • by swillden (191260)

      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?

      Does anyone remember POSIX? Are you kidding?

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:16AM (#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.

    • by c (8461)

      > 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.

      • 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 equivale

        • I believe they'll still be in a Google colo data center with Google admins doing the grunt server maintenance work, but yes, the actual ownership of the machines should be with the government under this model.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Don't worry, Google and the US government are going to merge shortly. It's one of the seven signs.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      It's probably properly segregated and storing only non classified information. What's the difference between this and outsourcing it to govt contractors to run in their datacenter? I trust google more than just about any military contractor.
    • It wouldn't be routed to a generic Google farm. Google Apps For Government is FISMA certified and runs on segregated servers located solely within the United States. But Google is evil! Well, remember when the government ran its own email servers and twenty-two million emails were lost from the Bush Administration because of allegedly improper backups, then miraculous found and restored after some good governance groups filed a lawsuit? Yeah, that. Google is very good at providing secure and reliable email

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Working...