P.S.: Microsoft to Acquire Groove Networks

by Ragnar Schierholz

Prof. Dr. Ludwig Nastansky from the Groupware Competence Center the University of Paderborn, Germany has published interesting thoughts on this.


That takeover was long in the making. Groove as such is unlikely to survive as a standalone product. If it were good on it's own, why are there so few installations and so few customers? Groove technology will surface here and there in different MS products and Bill Gates finally got Ray Ozzie working for MS. But in the end Groove will suffer from the same fate as all the communication / workflow / collaboration products from Microsoft: it will just be used by some hardcore MS customers.

With another business plan and a focus on the consumer market (as initially planned)as well as a less proprietary platform independant technology and maybe open-source licensing, Groove could have really transformed the way we work together, now this revolution is delayed until someone else will pick it up.

Regarding Nastansky I think he underestimates the power of the web. Mozilla's XUL is an example of how to offer a "rich" experience with web based technology. As far as I know Thunderbird is XUL, so why not developing groupware(-client) based on XUL?

Moritz Schroeder, 2005-03-11

I do share the hope of Prof. Nastansky that the entry of a serious competitor could have a positive impact on all products in the Groupware category.
And let's be honest, as far as end-user features MS has had some good ideas which have been widely adopted in other vendors' products. Maybe they can spark some bright feature ideas for the Notes/Domino folks as well.

And also I see a point in Workplace and Groove being on opposite ends of the collaboration space. The IBM Lotus Workplace folks (e.g. at Lotusphere) kept proclaiming "Hey, and look, I need a new collaboration space and all I need to do is click here, create a new Workplace instance, select a template, [yadda, yadda, yadda]".
All this stuff is then located on a Workplace server and my experience with system administrators is that they simply don't like the idea of anyone creating stuff wildly (or ad-hoc to put it with a little less bias) on their systems. I have yet to find an admin who would allow the whole user base to create e.g. databases on their server.

And last but not least, the idea of the "teenage Notes", well, that might not exactly sound very practical right now (to partially agree with Robert), but I think Prof. Nastansky's aim here was to show a vision, quite appropriate for a University professor and scientist. And visions simply have a tendency to sound rather sci-fi and hard to graps, but often they become true. Rather later than sooner, but you never know!

Ragnar Schierholz, 2005-03-11

Editor's note:

I have removed unsubstantiated messages from the thread. My first trigger was a posting without the full name of the author. My second trigger were unsubstantiated attacks. Please take that business somewhere else.

Volker Weber, 2005-03-11

Microsoft going home to their very on turf - the desktop?
This scenario makes at least a little bit of sense, given the (lack of a) Exchange-Roadmap.

On the topic of product naming. It will probably be something along the lines of
"IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging real-time and team collaboration Network (Express)"
but probably a little bit longer ;)

Martin Leyrer, 2005-03-11

I share the hope of Prof. Nastansky about a serious competition too. Lot of our customers (in terms of users, not central IT departments) asking us about the coolest, new collaboration feature in N/D 7, but their dont like to hear something about a sortable subject column. Technical innovation is great, but innovation to enhance collaborative work is much better. So, i have to agree with Ragnar.

Mathias Pohl, 2005-03-11

I also think Prof. Nastansky offered valuable insight with his comment. I would argue though that the “Office Information Bridge” provides exactly that corporate data awareness for Office documents that he envisions already today.

Wolfgang Hilpert, 2005-03-12

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