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» More Groove/Microsoft analysis from Between the Lines
Blogger/analyst Michael Sampson has some good analysis of the Groove/Microsoft deal. He surmises that the differences between�SharePoint and Groove will disappear in 12 to 18 months and Live Communications Server-based capabilities will replace the pre... [Read More]

» Microsoft and Groove from Patrick Tisseghem's Blog
[Read More]

» Sharepoint - a week in review from Arno Nel on Information Portals, Sharepoint Portal Server (SPS) and Collaboration
[Read More]

» Sharepoint - a week in review from Arno Nel on Information Portals, Sharepoint Portal Server (SPS) and Collaboration
[Read More]

» Microsoft and Groove from Software Industry Analysis
At Groove, both Ray Ozzie and Michael Helfrich were enthusiastic proponents of the concept of Power to the Edge. So what is Microsoft's role going to be in providing a platform for the Edge Organization? [Read More]

» Rattrapage sur Groove/Microsoft from Ingénierie logicielle
ô drame, je n'ai pas blogué sur le rachat de Groove Networks par Microsoft. Comme j'arrive après la bataille, je me contenterai de vous indiquer une bonne analyse [en anglais], par un consultant spécialisé sur le travail collaboratif (via le [Read More]

Comments

Brian Hoogendam

Michael,
Good posting about the merger of MS and Groove. I agree with a number of your points. I personally think that they are setting it up to be the next gen SharePoint. But, to my knowledge, Groove does not have a real time component, or do they? Keep up the good work.
Regards,
Brian

Michael Sampson

Brian, thanks for posting. Groove does offer a number of real-time components ... chat embedded into each virtual office space, plus one-to-one almost real-time co-editing of Microsoft Word documents. The latter is ok, but not wonderful. M.

Mike

Groove is a cool but useless software - no organization that already have IBM or Microsoft groupware and collaboration environment will find any use for it. I believe Microsoft actually bought Ozzy , the fact that they had to buy Groove in order to get him is not important for them.

Ted Thomas

This is my first post *into the future* (since it is still March 10th here in the US)... cool.

Earlier this week I was at a training session sponsored by MS for CASAHL tools to migrate Domino into the MS stack, and Groove kept coming up. Some were aware of it, but no one had actually used it. What was interesting was how much of Groove functionality that Domino has offered for years, and the MS folks didn't know about it. My take is that MS bought 2 things-- Ray O. and off-line support know-how. This confirms a very important point-- offline support in Longhorn still has a ways to go.

Next Big Question: when will seamless federation actually happen in SIP (or something) so that users on IBM/MS/open source collaboration products can easily talk without using AOL/IRC/MSN or anything not up to business level security?

rim

I have tried Groove and it worked great that it was p2p.
It was useless that the software had to be installed at each computer before it could be used.
I think Microsoft will strip p2p functionality as their primary goal to maintain central control and profits of online collaboration. Now there is a new opportunity for p2p meeting software.

CD

Ray Ozzie is clearly a visionary when it comes to how people can work together better via innovative technologies.

Remember what tools were available in 1992? Certainly Lotus Notes was a paradigm shift and provided information workers with a new tool to share information and knowledge. It was just awesome and MS had nothing to compete against Notes!

More views at http://eforms.blogs.com/blog/

Richard Schwartz

I'm of the opinion that the best thing Microsoft could do is give Ray the opportunity to save WinFS from all the troubles it has been having. The real lasting legacy of Ray so far is the NSF container. For all it's flaws and it's pre-standards era architecture, NSF is the container which IBM and Lotus have been building collaboration on for 15 years. Sure, IBM wants nothing more than to improve on NFS in the Workplace products, but Microsoft doesn't even have anything to improve on! Microsoft needs WinFS to be what NFS is: the foundation on which true collaborative applications can be built; but more integraed with the OS, and more friendly to standards-based data.

-rich

Suresh Kumar

Bill Gates,

went on record a few years back that he had wished that he bought Lotus Notes (Iris Development)... back in the day...

Whatever attempts Microsoft tried to replicate Notes (if you excuse the 'pun) was only really be seen as genuine admiration on Microsofts parts.

Well Bil got his man... and i think there are immediate-term, short-term and long-term consequences..

Immediate-term
Product positioning of Groove Tools with Microsoft Tools.

Short-term.
Components of Groove technology, .e.g folder sharing, p2p, and authentication components will become core in Longhorn. ( i expect Groove have been playing around that for quite some time).

Long-term.
Profound- rearchitecting of the Microsoft product line, with Ray finally getting to use 'network-effect' to change the way we use technology on the MS-Platform.

I think this is not just a benefit for Microsoft but for users of computers all over the world.

Ray is usually 10-15 years ahead of what most people are thinking...

Andy Swarbrick

Brian Hoogendam comments that word's co-edit is not fantastic. As a Groove advocate, that is what I used to think - and say. Now it has developed into a great design. (Not as good as multi-user Excel over Groove from www.Gtoolbox.com, but that is because of Word & Excel design not Groove's.)

Rim comments that Groove has to be installed on every computer. That is wrong since our server solution for Groove delivers just that.

Brian Hoogendam

Andy stated that I made comments about co-edit not being good. That is not what I said. I was asking if Groove contained the component for real time collaboration - please go back and read my post.

We believe that collaboration within MS Excel and MS Powerpoint should be done via the native application. That is what we have developed - a Peer to Peer, real time collaboration solution for both of those products. They work directly from the application. Our adapters work stand-alone or can be integrated into a Groove framework. We have already integrated them within Sharepoint to show how real time collaboration can work within the Sharepoint environment. I did goto gtoolbox.com and I think that your products are very interesting. Keep up the good work.
Regards,
Brian

Jim McCusker

I agree with Michael that the real-time components (like Chat) will be gutted and replaced with MS technologies. I disagree with those who feel the product is useless, but it does have it's problems:

- Large client-side install (most likely to be bundled into the next release of Office)
- Local workspaces tend to create a lot of client-side bloating in disk usage. The more workspaces you belong to the more disk space you use up locally.

I believe MS should work hard with Groove to tightly integrate the product with Sharepoint Team Sites. I believe that Groove Workspaces will be more tightly tied to actual Sharepoint Team Site content, thereby allowing for offline access.

Microsoft needs to be VERY careful not to create confusion between Groove collaboration and Sharepoint collaboration technologies. My fear is that some users who have both technologies may end up with content in two separate places (local client-side Groove workspaces and Sharepoint team spaces). Administrators of the products need the ability to control things like:

- Allow admins to enable forcing workspaces to be tied to a Sharepoint team space.
- Allow admins to enable/disable users to invite external collaborators into a Groove workspace.
- and more ....


Grooves current integration with Sharepoint is rather kludgy and reliese on having a single user act as the gateway between the content in the Sharepoint site and content in the Groove Workspace. This has all sorts of validation problems for regulated people like myself (Pharma).

If I was Microsoft, I would change Groove's integration in the following way:

- Allow a team site to have a SINGLE Groove Workspace that replicates the security (for users in the Sharepoint domain that access the Sharepoint team site).
- Allow the Groove Workspace to permit invitations of external collaborators (outside of the Sharepoint domain) so that they can collaborate in the Groove Workspace but have their content synchronized with the Sharepoint team site. (This features needs lots of administrative oversight, especially in regulated industries.)

Pete Holzmann

Jim's comments indicate possible misunderstanding of the value of Groove:

***The more workspaces you belong to the more disk space you use up locally***
That's a key design feature! How else could Groove provide full offline access to all collaborative data? I think anyone unwilling to "pay" the cost of local storage probably has minimal need for the Groove collaboration model.

As was noted above, the online and offline collaboration models each have their strengths. In our experience,
* core team / senior knowledge workers require more of the localized access -- they have more personal storage/cpu power wherever they are, vs having a "good pipe" to centralized data. "I need to work with my data wherever I am, and I have a computer that can hold it all. I can go online to sync but may not always have a good connection."
* high volume collaboration can be centralized effectively. Very high volume (read only / submit-only) collaboration can be webified effectively. "My online 'pipe' is fast/reliable enough that I can use it to work with my data; I may not have enough local storage to work with the data on a separate system."

***My fear is that some users who have both technologies may end up with content in two separate places (local client-side Groove workspaces and Sharepoint team spaces).***
Isn't the scary bit of that scenario the "separate" part? As long as the two remain integrated, there's no issue. We've found that great collaboration architecture involves synchronization across spaces and platforms. Perhaps Groove/SharePoint can aspire towards one of our best historical models: Ecco Pro. It gives fully automated sync between servers, workstations, and disparate PDA's (no custom PDA app, just good sync work!) at the field (not record) level. Disconnect and run; reconnect and sync...A real pleasure to use.

***Groove's current integration with Sharepoint is rather kludgy and relies on having a single user act as the gateway between the content in the Sharepoint site and content in the Groove Workspace. This has all sorts of validation problems for regulated people like myself (Pharma).***

Is "single user gateway" an issue with respect to the data itself? All Groove users (normally) have fully replicated data copies (including author id's). Isn't the primary issue the inability to access or control the user directory across platforms? Yet perhaps that too is not a huge issue?

I believe we will eventually see three levels of collaboration access...
"Groovey" user sets with full localized / offline-capable access
"Sharepoint" user sets with full centralized "wired" access
"Webified" users with limited (readonly and/or limited data entry) access

...each with the possibility of synchronized, managed access both to the information and to the other access directories.

***If I was Microsoft, I would...
- Allow the Groove Workspace to permit invitations of external collaborators (outside of the Sharepoint domain) so that they can collaborate in the Groove Workspace but have their content synchronized with the Sharepoint team site.***
I'm a bit surprised if this is not already "how it works"... showing my ignorance here?

John Costa

Does anybody knows how iOra compares with Groove? or is everybody already dismissing this software?

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