I doubt that this is what Groove Networks want

by Volker Weber


Today I learned that two early adopters of Groove have dropped it now that Groove Networks came out with version 3.0. And that has nothing to do with technology but only with execution.

Let me first state that I like what Groove Networks has done with the product. It is much more usable than it ever was. They have also just issued me a license so I can continue to evaluate it (Thanks, Richard!). So why have those two early adopters dropped it?

They both had a standard license which you can now upgrade to a new 3.0 version. You gain the wonderful capability to sync regular Windows folders transparently without having to put the files into a Groove workspace. Isn't that neat?

So why did they drop it?

Because they say they lost everything else. No discussion tool, no calendar, no nothing. At least that is what they told me. However it does not reflect in the comparison sheet. The upgrade FAQ lists limitations but those are not inline what I heard. They told me it would require a substantially bigger trade-up to the Professional version. And they are not willing to do that. Two customers lost -- and that may be just out of ignorance or bad communications.

And why am I saying "continue to evaluate"? I want to keep up with what Groove Networks is doing. But I cannot use it in my daily work, since that is now 95% on the Mac. And I am not willing to use any kludges like VirtualPC or a hosted solution. So I stopped using Groove about 18 months ago.


I upgraded to 3.0 Standard ASAP expecting user interface and application stability improvement. What I got was an improved application with a useful but unnecessary sync option and a Groove tool reduction. I was shocked to discover that the project tool was simply gone. I was doubly shocked to discover that I would have to fork out an additional $150 to upgrade to the Project version. Worse, the 3.0 to 3.0 upgrades were not even published at that time. I originally purchased Groove 2.0 for use as an affordable project management application and I still like Groove as a concept but I am disappointed with their dependence-driven marketing and lack of clear communication.

Patrick Mikulak, 2004-08-13

Unfortunately, Andy does not have a comment function. So I will have to take it here. A number of comments:

1. Yes, I think it was ignorance on part of the users. I am not going out of my way to educate people who have made up their mind. I just think it is sad, that Groove loses users that have already been on the platform.

2. Notes has dropped support for the Unix client when going from 4.x to 5.x. That was very untimely since Linux started to make inroads shortly thereafter. IBM was going to drop Mac support as well, but somehow have made up their mind.

3. The reason I can access Domino (not Notes!) is not that Mac=Unix these days, but because I use only open protocols to attach to the Domino Server, i.e. HTTP and IMAP. I am completely free as far as the client is concerned. Once in a while I have to use Notes for some admin stuff, but other than that I hardly touch it. One big exception: Disconnected use for an extended time (like the 2 weeks in July).

4. Why not VirtualPC? Basically because it is a ressource hog. It reminds me of WinOS2. If I want to use Windows, I use a PC: Have PCs. :-)

5. Why not a hosted solution? Because it does not do what I need. That is sync files from my machines with others. I don't need those files at the host, but rather right here.

To sum it up: I would love to use Groove. But I can't, for various reasons.

Volker Weber, 2004-08-13

Old vowe.net archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe