Microsoft ties the knot with Groove

Microsoft ties the knot with Groove.

My former employer purchased Groove today,
making official what was already a very close working relationship. I’d
like to be optimistic about what the acquisition will mean for the
information worker part of Microsoft’s business.

But let’s look
at the track record that the Information Worker business unit has in
bringing innovative products into the Office mainstream. Live Meeting?
Kind of integrated, still largely a standalone product, but it’s out
there and fighting for market share with WebEx. PowerPoint? Visio?
FrontPage? OK. All standalone apps, all acquired, that fill a niche in
the information worker workspace.

But what about XDocs? This brave internal project came out of ashes of NetDocs as a “smart client alternative to Office.” Where is it now? InfoPath, which is being marketed primarily as a forms app.

Microsoft tap the benefits of Groove and make them available in a rich
way throughout the desktop? Or will Groove just end up looking like the
next version of SharePoint, which currently looks like the next version
of a generic company intranet tool?

Excellent additional coverage from Robert Scoble, John Evdemon, Scott Rosenberg, Ross Mayfield, and Alex Barnett.

And incidentally: Alex points to Jef Raikes
talking about a product announcement that I missed earlier this week,
the launch of something called “Microsoft Office Communicator 2005.”
Sounds interesting. Go try to find something about it on Microsoft’s Office site.
Did you find it? Did you try searching? Did you try changing the search
dropdown from “All Office Online” to “All” Ah, there we
go. Hint to our friends on the Office web site: If you want to sell a
product as part of the Office family, it would be a good idea to make
it findable from the Office web page.  [Jarrett House North]

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