Google wins injunction against Microsoft in BPOS email conflict

The hosted email wars keep heating up as today Google has won a temporary injunction against the Department of the Interior, who Google accused of improperly awarding a contract to Microsoft to provide email services for its 88,000 Bureau of Indian Affairs employees.

(update: the BIA was a pilot program of 5,000 employees:

Google claimed that while it was seeking to compete for the business, Interior began a pilot program that purchased Microsoft software licenses for 5,000 employees in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The contract is for the whole Department of the Interior – thanks, Siebe!)

Microsoft and Google have been battling it out in the lucrative hosted email space (probably more lucrative for the positioning it provides than for the actual dollar amounts of the contracts – an email contract means more Office/Windows lock-in for Microsoft, or a foot in the door for Google and its Apps and services).

The contract, worth some $59 million, was contested in court by Google last October, and late yesterday the US Court of Federal Claims unsealed a preliminary injunction against the Dept. of the Interior, according to the Wall St. Journal:

In an order unsealed late Tuesday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Judge Braden wrote that Google had made a preliminary showing that the agency “violated the Competition in Contracting Act,” which was passed in 1984 to promote “full and open competitive procedures” for federal contract bids.

Google has complained about Microsoft’s practices in obtaining email services contracts, including one for the State of California.