Microsoft is to buy the software house Groove Networks for an undisclosed sum.
Beverly, MA-based Groove Networks was founded in 1997 by IBM/Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie. Since then, it has gone on to develop the Groove Virtual Office, a software suite tightly integrated with Microsoft’s software products that enables users to share information and manage projects.
Microsoft already has its own set of collaboration software tools. But these products – Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server and Windows SharePoint Services – only allow businesses to create and manage shared workspaces for individuals within a corporate IT network. Groove’s products, on the other hand, allow users to collaborate on group tasks and projects in highly decentralized situations – when working outside a corporate network and with limited or no access to a server.
After the deal is completed, the nearly 200-person Groove organization will continue to operate from its
The acquisition is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2005. Groove will continue to operate as a separate company until regulatory requirements have been met and the acquisition is finalised.
A free trial edition of Groove Virtual Office is available at http://www.groove.net/download.