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Microsoft to Acquire Groove Networks 310

namalc writes "In a huge shot across the groupware bow, Microsoft announced today that it would acquire Groove Networks, and Ray Ozzie, the founder of Groove, would become Microsoft CTO. Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes, had positioned Groove to straddle both the IBM/Lotus and Microsoft worlds. It will be interesting to see what direction Groove takes now."
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Microsoft to Acquire Groove Networks

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  • Questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:43PM (#11900147)
    1. Who or what is Groove?
    2. What do Groove do?
    3. Why should we care that Microsoft, king of aquisitions, have acquired Yet Another Company?
    If this information had been provided in the article introduction I'd be reading about it now, rather than asking silly questions like these.
    • by coolcold ( 805170 )
      1. Who or what is Groove?

      2. What do Groove do?

      virutal office
      3. Why should we care that Microsoft, king of aquisitions, have acquired Yet Another Company?

      are you new here?
    • CTFL (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:00PM (#11900356)
      Click the Link --- see how "Groove Networks" is underlined? The underline indicates that if you click it (with your mouse) you will be presented with more infomation.

      For example if there is a link to "Groove Networks" more information about Groove Networks will appear! Wow!
      • Re:CTFL (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I've spent the last ten minutes reading their website. Have you? It's 100% Content Free. It's a lovely marketing brochure though. They offer "Solutions"..ohh!

        "Work together securely over the Internet as if you and your team are in the same physical location. Groove Virtual Office is everything your team needs to share information, manage projects, conduct meetings and get work done."

        Sounds good. How does it do this? Lets try their FAQ:

        "Q:What exactly is a virtual office? Why the product name ch
        • They offer "Solutions"..ohh!

          After looking at their site, I think they actually do offer one solution: The solution to the problem of having your website load too quickly. They aren't handling the slashdotting very well - the marketing department is defintely in charge over there.

        • And office integration.
          Some nice change tracking/merging features (office specific). That's basically it. It makes sense Microsoft wants the company, it's perfect (especially so they can ditch LiveMeeting and Sharepoint)
    • Re:Questions (Score:2, Informative)

      by captwheeler ( 573886 )
      1. Who or what is Groove?

        A company name and a product name.

      2. What do Groove do?

        Allows web-based group projects with people from different companies. It looks like file sharing integrated with easy web form creation for custom project tools.

      3. Why should we care that Microsoft, king of acquisitions, have acquired Yet Another Company?

        MS might make it more popular, or more MS Office centric, or kill a cross platform possibility in the future. (it requires windows)

      • Re:Questions (Score:4, Informative)

        by stevelaniel ( 464290 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:25PM (#11900677) Homepage
        Has captwheeler actually used Groove? It seems doubtful; it appears that his description of Groove comes from a cursory glance at the website.

        Groove is a tool to help groups work together across corporate boundaries. It is not a web tool; it uses a totally separate set of protocols. It uses the Simple Symmetric Transfer Protocol when it's in peer-to-peer mode. It tries to connect directly to remote clients, but if that fails -- because, say, there's a firewall in the middle -- the Groove client can connect to remote "relay servers," which are store-and-forward machines. The remote Groove client sitting behind the firewall then downloads the data from its relay server.

        Groove is both a platform and an app. The platform is a set of functions to make other apps "Groovy" -- i.e., so that you can make your app support peer-to-peer groupware functions. The app is a collection of tools -- IM, chat, a notepad, a little drawing tool, file sharing, and so forth -- that use the Groove libraries. I've always viewed the Groove app itself as a proof of concept for the platform; building a community of developers around the platform has always been Groove's goal.

        Please don't write any description of the product unless you actually know what it does. And please don't think you know what it does just because you've looked at Groove's website. That sort of uniformed spewage gives Slashdot a bad name.

      • Re:Questions (Score:2, Informative)

        by Leth ( 124457 )

        Steve also neglected to mention the multiple layers of encryption of the data both on disk and across the wire, as well as an ability to adapt connectivity intelligently based on the current network configuration, allowing it to establish P2P or simulated P2P across firewalls and web proxies, meaning that the IT staff has no real overhead to support the communications, except for the increase in bandwidth.

        It also has a complex dynamics engine that allows for total sync between communicators.

        Please do try
    • Re:Questions (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rifftide ( 679288 )
      MS gets a nice peer-to-peer product, a "next generation Lotus Notes" that dovetails well with MS Office and MS Communicator (well, there's probably some overlap with the latter but that can be ironed out). More importantly, they get Ray Ozzie as CTO. People have noticed that Microsoft's technical direction seems to have been foundering a bit lately - Ozzie has both outstanding architectural skills and an excellent intuitive grasp of how people and teams use technology. It'll be interesting to see how Gate

    • When the EOLAS case was in News, Ray Ozzie claimed Lotus notes had a prior art []. By this acquisition, Microsoft may feel a little easy to defend themselves in the EOLAS case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:43PM (#11900148)
    I guess the MS BOB team needed someone they could look down on.
  • Mistake: (Score:5, Funny)

    by rdc_uk ( 792215 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:46PM (#11900187)
    "It will be _interesting_ to see what direction Groove takes now."

    I believe you have mis-typed "bloody obvious and deeply depressing" in that sentence.
  • Yawn... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:47PM (#11900193)
    Another day, another assimilation.
    • Yup. The behemoth grows yet again. Just wondering out loud, but couldn't this be another demonstration that MS is not innovating but just acquiring the competition? Seems like that's all that they are doing these days. Their 'innovations' like Longhorn, and WinFS seem to be caught up in endless delay cycles. Why wouldn't MS create a high-fi web based version of MS Office as competition? After all, they are supposed to be writing software, right?
      • "MS is not innovating but just acquiring the competition"

        This can be said for many large tech companies. Cisco, Oracle, CA, etc. At some point companies become so large that they become incapable or slow at innovation, and must acquire smaller innovative companies to keep up.
  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:48PM (#11900204)
    There are a TON of people using Lotus Notes. It's only recently that Exchange has exceeded Notes in number of seats used. For the developers and admins working on Notes, this is the equivalent of Linus saying "What the heck, Server 2003 ain't that bad. Let me join up."
    • But since Exchange only recently exceeded Notes, wouldn't it be fair to say that Ray Ozzie can bring his expertise to the table and make Exchange that much better? I think that's one of the improvements we'll see.
      • wouldn't it be fair to say that Ray Ozzie can bring his expertise to the table and make Exchange that much better?

        Glib answer: Have you ever seen Lotus Notes?

        (In fairness, though, Groove is pretty nice. Either the nightmarishness of Notes isn't Ray Ozzie's fault or he's learned something in the meantime.)

        • I don't think IBM has been doing much with Lotus Notes lately. A little bit with Domino server but even there it conflicts too much with WebSphere. I think IBM really dropped the ball with lotus notes.
        • Notes is the single worst application I've encountered in my 20-year career in software development, both from a UI and usability perspective. To be fair, many of the usability issues I've encountered in Notes can be chalked up to poor DB design by the Notes admin -- the UI problems, however, are pure Lotus.

          The UI issues of Notes are shared by most Lotus products -- Lotus' concept of UI is rather different than Microsoft's, and was the one thing I hated most about working for Lotus back when I was on the
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I seriously doubt Ray will do anything with Exchange. I've worked on the bowels of Lotus Notes [] and I've also done a little development work with Exchange. The two are extremely different, from storage to security to development nearly every facet is different, I doubt Ray wants to spend time thinking about someone else's disjointed architecture. Besides, Ray has already gone on record as saying that email is doomed (I don't agree), but that tells me he isn't at all interested in the email space.

    • There are a TON of people using Lotus Notes. It's only recently that Exchange has exceeded Notes in number of seats used.

      You neglected to mention that Notes has the dubious priviledge of being hated by both users and admins, while Exchange even though being pain for admins, is generally well received by corporate users. Notes was an unwieldy, diseased, monster. Most sane corporations have long replaced it with HTTP based systems combined with IMAP servers or Exchange.

      • by chthon ( 580889 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:54PM (#11901132) Homepage Journal

        Philips worldwide uses Lotus Notes, despite the fact that they are a premium client of Microsoft.

        The reason is that everybodies mail is encrypted.

        The decision to change to Lotus Notes was made after it was discovered that the sysadmins could read all mail, also from upper management. With Lotus Notes that is not possible.

        • Philips worldwide uses Lotus Notes, despite the fact that they are a premium client of Microsoft. The reason is that everybodies mail is encrypted. The decision to change to Lotus Notes was made after it was discovered that the sysadmins could read all mail, also from upper management. With Lotus Notes that is not possible.

          Then Phillips is yet another victim of clueless pointy-haired-bossism. The answer of course is to use standards-based encryption on the client, such as PGP. That way the security is tr

    • Now perhaps we can dump the eternally crappy Lotus Notes here at the office in favor of something a bit more full featured.

      Like elm. Or Zmail. Or carrier pigeons. Or anything other than Lotus Notes. Nothing ruins your day like the red box of death []!

    • Don't forget that a huge installed base does not imply technical superiority (as we all well know with the case of Internet Explorer).
      So this is more like one of the chief Windows architects jumping ship to go work on Linux, and being given a salary that exceeds the GDP of many small countries.
    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:11PM (#11900488)
      There are a TON of people using Lotus Notes. It's only recently that Exchange has exceeded Notes in number of seats used. For the developers and admins working on Notes, this is the equivalent of Linus saying "What the heck, Server 2003 ain't that bad. Let me join up."

      Hmmm. Then how shall we explain all of the people that have begged us consultants to pry them loose from the Lotus Notes Grip Of Doom and get them onto an Exchange platform? I've never, ever, once, been asked about going the other direction, and have not seen a single organization starting from scratch and thinking: "Can't wait to start using Notes!"

      Nope, for most non-technical businesses, it's Exchange, SharePoint, and a rent-a-brain to get it into shape... and then, really, not much work at all for anyone other than a luke-warm admin body.
    • Attn Bashers... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Dave21212 ( 256924 ) <> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @03:40PM (#11902734) Homepage Journal

      Please, when you are bashing Lotus Notes, if it's the mail client you have issue with, try to state that. Saying you don't like Lotus Notes is like saying you had a bad experience with a car you owned in college, therefor all cars suck !

      If you don't like the mail client, use Outlook instead, the servers have IMAP and POP.
      If your apps suck, thank a developer (I guess if a VB app you used once sucked, that would mean all computers suck or something?).
      Red Box of Death ? Try moving to a version from this MILLENNIUM !

      Letsee, I remember distinctly years ago when LoveBug virus hit, everyone was down but the Notes folks... the UI may not be exactly like Microsoft (which is why I think many of you don't like it, it's not Windows:) but the "mail" is robust and secure enough that it doesn't get viruses, you can restore a single user or many (Exchange 2k3 just recently got that I think), and the PKI security is enough that the CIA, FBI, NSA and other TLOs have to use it. Or, if you prefer, you can authenticate using LDAP (even to Active Directory) and even BE the LDAP authentication server for other apps.

      Sure, the next argument is that small little 8 person companies don't need the level of security, failover, extensibility, etc. that an enterprise environment requires... That's true, but they don't want Exchange and the overhead it requires either.

      A special note to the consultant or whomever in another posting here - *you* haven't converted any shops to Notes lately (and you are The World???) - but the net turnover last year was almost 1500 big shops switching from Microsuck to Lotus (next time research before you slam). Check out the recent case studies [] if you like.

      For those folks that care, you should know that Lotus Notes isn't email software - email is like 10% of what it does... Lotus is workflow applications, web applications, blogs, middleware and integration, document management, presence awareness (Lotus Sametime IM is #1 in the Fortune 500). And let's not forget, they support open standards more than anyone, period (you would think OSS folks would get this???) If you want you data in XML, you got it... with Microsuck you get their closed version. You can have an app server that runs Domino, attaches to MySQL, output pages using Perl and PHP... anything you want really (simply put, it's incredibly extensible).

      Platforms [] ? You can run it on Windows, AIX, Solaris, z/OS, iSeries, o yeah, they even have a version FOR LINUX, RedHat and UnitedLinux certified ! (where's Exchange for Linux?).

      Check it out for yourself [].
  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:48PM (#11900207) Homepage Journal
    And for Office users in general. Microsoft appears to be taking seriously the concept of the remote office, and seems to be pushing NetMeeting more vigorously -- Groove would fit into this scheme quite nicely, and permit a level of interoperability with other groupware vendors Microsoft has lacked to this point.

    Conversely, Groove gets to present its unique approach to a larger audience than ever before, as well as having better access to improve and extend its compatibility with Microsoft products.

    It's an exciting time for laptop warriors, that's for sure! Never before has this level of versatility been offered.

  • MS Press Release (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmcmurry ( 3759 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:48PM (#11900209) Homepage
    Here's a press release [] from Microsoft with more information and some Q&A with Ozzie and Jeff Raikes, Microsoft group vice president of their Information Worker Business group.
  • OS X then? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:48PM (#11900211) Homepage
    So if Microsoft will be incorporating these elements into Microsoft Office, will that include the OS X line? Right now I use Virtual PC to connect with my coworkers in our various Groove spaces (and while I know there are some OS X third party tools to connect to Groove shares, they're not exactly the same - besides, I'd have to get my company to pay an extra fee, and they're not going to do *that* just for me).

    Groove is an interesting and pretty secure P2P system, and I wouldn't mind being able to use it without having to fire up a second OS on my Powerbook just to use it.
    • -- So if Microsoft will be incorporating these elements into Microsoft Office, will that include the OS X line?

      You can answer that question by trying to find a copy of Access in the Mac version of Office.

      App with competitive advantage == no Mac port
  • by cosjef ( 247890 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:50PM (#11900234)
    Wow, they must REALLY be running out of ideas to sell more copies of Office.

    This is great news for OOo.
    • Nothing funny about it, MS is resorting to buying its innovation in the form of developers of other major software; it's indicative of how difficult it is for the major companies to move anywhere. MS has real trouble unless it can continue to support the OS platform; this is another attempt to shore up the dam, and not a bad one.

      It's not so good for OOo. per se, but the whole FOSS movement indirectly benefits as the market differentation smooths out. IOW, if the only alternative is MS, it's much easier to
  • I was exploring and using it to explore colloboration. With MS buying it, I now know that it will never go to other platforms - Mac, Linux. Oh well.....
    • What, you mean like how Office isn't available on Macs?
      • I think your parent makes a good point.

        With a couple of exceptions (Entourage and WiMP; the latter done exceedingly badly), I've never heard of a Microsoft product originally designed for Windows being brought to Macintosh.

        The above notwithstanding, I think the only reason Macintosh has Office available at all is that its component applications either were developed for Macintosh years before there was a viable Windows, or were purchased Mac-only products (PowerPoint from ForeThought; Virtual PC from Conn
  • Good Riddance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:52PM (#11900258)
    Lotus Notes was universally hated throughout every corporation I came in contact with, IBM included. The only people who hyped this thing were marketing drones, "visionary CTOs" and pointy-haired bosses.

    Virtually all functions of LotusNotes are better served by other technologies, like the classic Apache/PHP/SQL combos etc. (Keep in mind that LotusNotes evolved in parallel with the WWW but most corporations were completely unaware of HTTP until Microsoft "discovered" it)

    It is quite amusing to me that someone would proudly take credit for the creation of that monster. I think it goes to show tha there is no such thing as bad publicity for self-promoting "geniuses" ....

    • Re:Good Riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IgnoramusMaximus ( 692000 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:14PM (#11900517)
      Good Riddance (Score:-1, Troll)

      This concludes the test of how many of Slashdotters actually ever saw LotusNotes... obviously none with mod points.

    • Re:Good Riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 3waygeek ( 58990 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:25PM (#11900676)
      Exactly right, and I used to work for Lotus as part of the SmartSuite dev team. Notes is pure evil.
    • by cbelt3 ( 741637 ) < minus punct> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:30PM (#11900792) Journal
      IMHO, like any other architectured overwhelmingly centralized system, the suckiness of Notes systems depends on the implementers and users. I've used Notes since '96, and developed in Notes since '96 too. Sure, it sucks compared to Apache/PHP/SQL combos etc. But it's a backwards compatible one stop shopping solution for content creation, management, dissemination. And yeah, it's been web enabled since like 1995, but most corps don't use that functionality cause the application's interface is pretty atrocious through the web side, security, blah, blah, blah.

      M$'s "Exchange" isn't a centralized solution per se- it depends on all the other M$ crap working together. Notes can stand alone, and IT RUNS ON Linux ! []

      I hope IBM Keeps maintaining Notes, but I have an ugly feeling that they're going to let it obsolete and be replaced with... a general mess of loosely cooperative stuff that /. ers will just loove making tons of money playing with. Oh well.

      PS- I don't think you're a troll- you just suffered with bad implementations, like everyone else. You know the drill- you can write spaghetti code in any language []

      • M$'s "Exchange" isn't a centralized solution per se- it depends on all the other M$ crap working together.

        Oh believe me, I am the last person to defend Microsoft here. But my experience with Notes is so abysmal that even Microsoft junk looks appealing in comparative terms.

        you just suffered with bad implementations, like everyone else.

        Well, the problem is that Notes for some reason makes bad implementation attractive, they come somehow natural to it and thus vast majority are a nightmare. Or at least that

    • by tizzyD ( 577098 ) <tizzyd&gmail,com> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @03:16PM (#11902415) Homepage
      Sure, as a former Chief Architect at Lotus and IBM, I may be biased . . . but I actually knew how to use Notes. Every time someone complained about Notes, it was not Notes they were complaining about. They were complaining about some crappy Notes DB that was so poorly designed that it worked horribly. Put a bug tracking system in Notes; good for under several hundred bugs. Anything more, and you can't do it easily. As for Apache/PHP/SQL, sure, you could reproduce what you could do in Notes, to a point. But, it would cost you A LOT MORE, and you would never get off-line capabilities. Something those of us on plane trips always appreciated. So, don't complain about the technology when you should be complaining about the implementation. Notes was good for certain things. RDBMSs are good at other things. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. But don't confuse the two. Notes is not a transaction system, and despite the hype, BLOB support still sucks under RDBMSs.

  • Offer somebody some money and a stupid title and they'll pimp out their mothers.

    Anybody betting Ozzie won't last a year at Microsoft?

    • I will gladly take that bet. If Ray Ozzie had not wanted the deal to go through, it would not have happened. And they definitely would not have made him CTO at Microsoft. He's been at large companies before, so the corporate environment and its politics certainly shouldn't scare him.

      I have used Lotus Notes, just briefly, and can say it is by far the worst mission-critical application I have ever used. So perhaps this deal gives Microsoft haters have something to be optimistic about.
  • by FreeBSDbigot ( 162899 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:52PM (#11900266)
    Groove always seemed to be one of those really, really cool solutions, if only it weren't so tied to MS Office, Outlook, and Windows. Obviously that won't get any better now that MS owns Groove.
    • Yeah, exactly. I read the summary and was like, "What new direction?". Groove has to be one of the most Win32 dependent apps I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). It uses a mangled form of HTML fed to IE to render its entire GUI. It's entirely based on COM. It even has/had a "Redmond" theme which is 120% uglier than the default, but gives those who are desperate the battleship-grey theme
  • by MLopat ( 848735 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:55PM (#11900308) Homepage
    While most of you probably don't care much about the products Groove Networks have in their suite, the real story here in Microsoft acquiring a new CTO. This man has an impressive track record in the technology field. He is responsible for the creation of Lotus Notes, a technology that Microsoft Exchange is just starting to catch up to both in features and install base. 100 Million people use his technology worldwide. He is also rated among the top five developers of the century.

    This article has more to do with Microsoft continuing to build an impressive array of innovators and visionaries to carry the company for another 20 years. If they happen to integrate a few of his company's technologies into the current Office suite, that's just a bonus.
    • Agreed, it's definitely the bigger news here. I for one am all for the replacement of the current MS regime with people who have proven track records of doing innovative things. I'm a firm believer that no matter how many companies Microsoft acquires, they'll still fall behind to the forward thinking groups like Apple. It's the people that count, and (excuse me while I blue sky for a moment) maybe we'll start seeing some actual bonafide innovation in Microsoft's products now.
    • Like a good watercolor painter, I think Ray Ozzie's talent I admire most is knowing when to stop. In the technology world, it's easy to get consumed by adding just one more thing or moving just a bit more. Knowing when is the best time to abandon ship or to keep going is tough. In some ways it's the lesson that makes Steve Jobs a good marketer in my mind.

      On the other hand, I think this sale shows that Ray Ozzy's main interest is in satisfying Ray Ozzy. A title is just a title; will Ray have real power and
    • I worked all those guys and I agree, getting Ray, Eric and the others is quite a coup for Microsoft.

    • He is responsible for the creation of Lotus Notes,

      You said that like it was a good thing. Have you noticed the split between people who have _not_ used it, who assume it's good because it's not M$, and the people who _have_ used it and hate it?

      I can't easily and briefly sum up what's unpleasant about using Notes, but that's not because it's hard to express per se -- it's just impossible to know where to begin.

      • I'm not a lotus notes user myself, and like any other large scale project, I'm sure it has its downfalls. You can't argue that the product wasn't innovative though. Its also hard to dispute the 100million users STILL using the product.
    • Back when Ray Ozzie was heading up Notes, I saw a quote from Bill Gates along the lines of: There are 5 top programmers in the world today. 4 work for me and Ray Ozzie is the other one.
  • I can see this happening as this will be the next big release of office to get sales up again.

    I have seen many treads relating to office features being minimal, and releases being very few. Maybe this would be a new release with a outlook/word/lotus notes mirgration.

    Who knows (note I havent kept up with lotus notes in about 5 years) maybe with the migration of those 3 items they would be able to create a very nice system for communication as well as sharing documents accross offices etc etc.

    But then agai
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['6.t' in gap]> on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:56PM (#11900321) Homepage Journal
    It will be interesting to see what direction Groove takes now.

    "Dude, you're going to hell."

    Here's your handbasket.
  • by R.Caley ( 126968 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @12:57PM (#11900327)
    Down then up a bit then waaaaaay down.

    Toilets outlets are always shaped that way to keep the stink down.

  • I don't care how easy it is to chat and share files, that does not really make teams work that well together. Teams need to be sharing the right information that actually helps them reach decisions.

    One groupware "tool" for developers that I have been really happy with is [].
  • It will be interesting to see what direction Groove takes now.

    No it won't. We all know what direction Groove will take now.

  • 1) create product that creates compatablity between 'deep pocketed' competitors products
    2) wait for one or the other to purchase your company to control said compatablity functionality

    Simple, yet genius. Although, once again, I am probably wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:14PM (#11900514)
    This should not be a surprise to anyone who worked there or anyone they tried to recruit. (Hi there!) The Beverly, MA company was a 100% Microsoft house from the beginning with no provisions for Linux, UNIX or anything else. Why eschew crossplatform? Why use only MS for development? Why care so much about being single-platform when companies don't care about what runs back-office software? The answer is in today's headlines.
  • When I first glanced at the artitle, I thought it said "Microsoft to Acquire Google"... [shudder]
  • Groove is something that someone around here decided would be cool to use. It's used as groupware, offers file sharing, instant messaging, shared browsing, and lots of other cool features.

    Nobody uses it now since we got online a simple phpGroupware. You see, Groove isn't web. ;)

    But it's a very powerful tool for working in team, specially if some members are teleworking.
  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:32PM (#11900813)
    Users who have touched this software generally tend to hate it. The "groovespaces" that are used to exchange data don't cooperate with anything else, and are very annoying to manage. Really in a web-enabled environment where people have IM and collaborative editing (wiki), this product serves no purpose whatsoever. If MS did not buy them they would be dead in three years.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:37PM (#11900909) Homepage Journal
    When we bought Lotus and by default Ray Ozzie and the Notes creators we inherited a tiny development culture that was utterly impenetrable. As much as Lotus kept us at arms length and did everything their own way, the Notes dudes wouldn't even let us on site. Hell they wouldn't let Lotus on site either. They just stayed locked up in Ray Ozzie's barn, crunching code. A big part of Notes failure to grow and develop and frankly, thrive, the way we wanted was the technical brilliance and organizational paralysis that the Ozzie-ites created. Eventually we found it easier to bypass them and this is why Notes 6 came out 2 years after Notes 5 which was 4 years late and is why Notes 7 is more than a year late and there are serious discussions over whether Notes itself won't be submerged into Workplace.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This article from Lotus Advisor [] goes into some depth of the core architecture of Notes and Domino. This is the really really cool stuff that Ray came up with. This is why Notes is used by 118 million people and loved with Mac like passion. I was at Lotusphere in Florida earlier this year with about 7000 other people, all passionate about Notes. The Notes UI comes in for some stick occasaionally. Normally by people critisising version 4.1 or something when the rest of the 118 million users left that behind y
  • Companies nowadays - and microsoft pretty much from day one - seem to show a nasty habit of buying out another company, big or small that poses a threat, acquires their resources, mashes some elements of the acquired technologies into their own and discard the rest.

    Groove, if any elements of it remains, is pretty much done in for, like microsoft swooping in like a cloud of locusts, consuming everything and moving on.

    With all the resources at microsoft's disposal, why is it easier to buy out other technolo
  • I followed Groove when it first came out. It is a secure P2P collaboration software. They have some neat concepts implemented in their software. I don't know of any open source software that does what Groove does. I heard there was a linux port that never made the light of day.
  • by ArmenTanzarian ( 210418 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @01:51PM (#11901090) Homepage Journal
    30% of the company for some time. Developers from Groove sit in Redmond and developers from Microsoft sit in Beverly Mass. Groove has time and again scooped features Microsoft has envisioned but been unable to rollout in basic OS functionality (just too much to code, inject, test with X set of features, make work on an ancient machine).

    I'm a long-time Groove user and have dabbled in component development for a little over a year. Until recently, Groove had a .NET API for injecting tools directly into the platform. They discontinued it recently in favor of a web service interface however.

    I think the product could use a bit more maturity, but I think it's got some great potential. Ownership by Microsoft, I believe, will just strengthen their marketshare. Hopefully they won't lose any of their good points.
  • Love/hate (Score:4, Informative)

    by daemoneyes ( 750360 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @02:04PM (#11901306)
    People have a love/hate response to Groove. I know I definitely had the hate response. We got Groove at work for a project with an outside consultant, about two years ago. We got brand new PCs at the same time, and my first complaint was that Groove was extremely slow, and not just to work in. It slowed down every PC it was installed on; I think it had a memory footprint of over 200 MB! In any case, it took from one to thirty (!) minutes to launch on my 1.4 GHz/640 MB PC. We had so much trouble with it that a tech from Groove -- an engineer/programmer actually working on the product, I found out later -- to try and sort out the mess caused by starting Groove as a user other than the one that installed it. Problem: Groove by default starts as soon as you log in, I guess so it can check if you have any "instant" messages. I was never able to get satisfactory ansers to questions like: how do I fix a virus-infected file from Groove without deleting it? How do I make backups of files that are stored in a proprietary conatiner on umpty-jillion workstations? How do you manage file permissions without creating additional "spaces" just for restricted files? We were working on this project with a Danish company, and it seems the standard reaction from a Dane to a feature request is "Why would you want to do that?" This was essentially my response to Groove, which is just another stinking heap of buzzword-compliant bloatware that does nothing for anyone except make PHBs think they are helping. They're not.
  • If you haven't used Groove, it's about the best use for a LAN that I've ever seen. Something tells me that MS will try to go client-server with it and screw it all up, but it's a GREAT product. It might be a compelling reason for people to upgrade from Office 2000. (XP and 2003 certaily werent.)
  • Maybe the typical Slashdot reader won't care, but we're saddled with Outlook/Exchange at my company, which are big, slow, resource-hungry, funky piles of poo IMHO.

    So if this will end up helping improve those in any way, I'm in favor of it :-)
  • by dudeman2 ( 88399 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @02:36PM (#11901842) Homepage
    Ray Ozzie has always designed his products with built in security - not as an afterthought. Lotus Notes pioneered RSA based encryption on desktop computers.

    It's still the most transparent and easy-to-use email security system available (note, easy to use != easy to administer). You never even think about it, once your preferences are set, emails just get encrypted and decrypted, signed and signatures verified, automatically.

    Same thing with Groove products.

    Let's see what he can do at Microsoft.
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Thursday March 10, 2005 @04:02PM (#11903032) Homepage Journal
    My office is in the same huge complex in Beverly as the Groove offices - so if Microsoft pumps money and bodies in there, it'll just make it more difficult to park than it already is!

    Other than that, it's really not too big a deal in my eyes. Microsoft's been pumping money into Groove for a few years now, and Groove has been putting all their development efforts into Windows for a long time (it was originally supposed to be a multiplatform product). Maybe Groove will become more than a niche product now?

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser