was only a matter of time (and money)… Microsoft is swallowing Groove
Networks. For several years, I've had an intense love-hate relationship
with Groove. It's absolutely fantastic to have instant, secure
workgroups and a place to put all your data that is not a fragile hard
drive or a clumsy network share. There's no management, no overhead, no
security headaches, it all just works.
The bad news is that Groove is an incredibly unfinished application
with huge usability issues. The built-in Groove tools are 90% of the
way there, and a market for third party tools never really
materialized. In spite of its lack of polish (and that is being very
kind), I have used Groove in several workgroups for many years, and we
use it to store some of the company's most precious data.
Working with Groove has been like dealing with a prima donna: All
the quirks drive you nuts but it's all worth putting up with because
she's so incredibly talented that she can do things that are totally
unique and amazing.
So my reaction to the news is a mixture of hope and frustration: I
hope that Microsoft will drag the app into a usability lab and fill in
all the missing pieces. I am frustrated because it will take at least
another year for any significant releases to materialize.
While there are some obvious advantages in having Groove drive the
next Office upgrade cycle, in the long term I think it's the wrong
direction for Microsoft to go in: The Groove code base is a big giant
beast of COM/C++ code, just like the rest of Office. I'm getting tired
of using heavy, organically-evolved, bogged-down-by-legacy-features,
dinosaur apps. This is just more of the same. Who wants to get together
and design a new kind of personal computer? Let's start a think thank! [Live @ Sax.net]