[credit provider=”Associated Press”]
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with Department of Interior officials to try and convince them to use Microsoft’s Exchange Online instead of Google’s hosted Gmail, according to records released yesterday.The records came out as part of the judge’s ruling in Google’s favour, which will force the Department to reconsider Google’s apps. Ballmer met with DoI officials in February 2010, and later sent the following email to Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes:
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I share your passion around the growing partnership between Microsoft and the Department of the Interior. You have my personal commitment to success on this Exchange Online Project. I agree with you that this effort–as a first in Federal–should be celebrated appropriately[.] (Italics in the original.)
Ballmer often makes these kinds of sales calls for big accounts, particularly where there’s a competitive bid, and the judge concluded that there was nothing wrong with his call in this case. Still, the personal touch shows how important Ballmer considers it to keep Google out of big government accounts where Microsoft has traditionally dominated.
The precise amount of the deal was redacted from the document, but it’s a safe bet that Microsoft was willing to cut the DoI a sweetheart deal to get this “first in Federal” win.