Over the past couple of days, I have been preparing a revised and updated edition of my Strategic Viewpoint report about Microsoft acquiring Groove Networks.
The update takes into consideration the new information that has come
to light during the past month since the acquisition was first
announced, such as the financial details of the deal as outlined in the
lawsuit brought by Michael Matthews. (And yes, a free revision will be
provided to those clients that purchased the first edition).
One thing that has struck me as I've been thinking and reflecting on the changes, is that Groove Virtual Office (GVO) is not really a peer-to-peer collaborative workspace
as Groove and Microsoft have “positioned” it. Yes, there are some
things that happen in a peer-to-peer way, but a server component is
essential to make Groove operate. The GVO client relies on either:
- The Groove Hosted Services, for presence services, offline support, bandwidth optimization, and firewall transparency; or
- An internally deployed and managed Groove Enterprise Relay Server, which provides a store-and-forward message queue for presence, offline support, firewall traversal, and fanout.
Those things are all good-and-proper, but if you don't have the
Enterprise Relay Server, or if the Hosted Services is unavailable, a
Groove user is rather stuck. Maybe it's not a big deal, but it's also
not pure peer-to-peer. Hence Microsoft's new trifecta of collaboration
solutions actually has two server-facilitated collaborative workspaces,
not one server-centric and one peer-to-peer.
[Shared Spaces Research & Consulting]