Microsoft gets into the P2P groove by signing Ray Ozzie

Microsoft is going after the collaboration market with its acquisition of Groove Networks. The deal will see Ray Ozzie, best known as the creator of Lotus Notes, join the software giant as chief technology officer.

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By  Peter Branton Published  March 20, 2005

Microsoft is going after the collaboration market with its acquisition of Groove Networks. The deal will see Ray Ozzie, best known as the creator of Lotus Notes, join the software giant as chief technology officer. Groove’s “virtual office” software lets people in different locations, or even different companies, collaborate by working over secure internet connections. It uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) design in which PCs can communicate directly via instant messaging to share documents. The company was founded by Ozzie, a guru in the collaboration software space, in 1997. Microsoft was one of the original investors in Groove, which has developed its technology to work on Microsoft platforms. Ozzie was the original inventor of workgroup software Lotus Notes, and worked at IBM after it bought Lotus. He will now report directly to Microsoft’s head honcho, chairman and chief software architect, Bill Gates, as one of three CTOs at the company. “Ray and his team are great innovators. Microsoft and its customers will benefit greatly from their experience,” Gates said. “After working with Ray for years as a close partner, it will be great to have him on our senior leadership team.” Microsoft has been keen to develop its technology in the collaboration market space, with the vendor continually striving to build more collaboration capabilities into its Office System products. “The acquisition of Groove complements Microsoft’s collaboration offerings to include real-time, server-based and P2P solutions that address the ever-changing and more-complex work environment,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft’s information workers group. “Together, Microsoft and Groove will make anytime, anywhere collaboration a more natural and easy extension of how information workers coordinate their projects.” The Groove acquisition could lead to changes in how IT is used in an organisation, according to analyst firm Gartner Group. “Microsoft’s vision goes beyond any specific technology, to define how people do work,” it said.

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