REDMOND, Wash., April 8, 2005 — Microsoft today completed its acquisition of Groove Networks, the Beverly, Mass.-based provider of collaboration software for ad-hoc workgroups, and will add Groove’s products to the lineup of Microsoft Office System products, servers and services.
The acquisition makes the Groove product and team part of Microsoft’s Information Worker Business; the team will continue to be based out of its Massachusetts offices. It also brings Groove founder Ray Ozzie and other top executives into the Microsoft ranks.
Microsoft initially plans to continue selling current and future Groove products on a standalone basis while also exploring ways to take advantage of those technologies in others ways. The company has invested in Groove and its technology, which runs on the Windows platform and complements Microsoft Office System technologies such as Windows SharePoint Services, since 2001.
“With our shared vision for making collaboration natural and easy, Microsoft and Groove can offer businesses complete, highly integrated collaboration software and services that enrich any kind of work situation,” said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of the Microsoft Information Worker Business. “Groove’s products complement and broaden Microsoft’s capabilities by allowing information workers to collaborate securely on group tasks and projects, even while working outside of the corporate network and with limited or no access to a server.”
Ozzie, the creator of IBM’s Lotus Notes software, becomes a chief technical officer (CTO) of Microsoft, reporting to Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates. His role includes working with Gates and fellow Microsoft CTOs Craig Mundie and David Vaskevitch to help shape corporate-wide communication and collaboration offerings as well as associated platform infrastructure. He also will continue to work closely with the Groove organization from their Beverly, Mass. offices.
“While Groove and Microsoft technologies already work together in very powerful ways, we’ve only just begun to realize opportunities to better address the needs of information workers at a time when the very nature of work itself is changing,” said Ozzie. “I’m eager to contribute my experiences and lessons learned over the past 20-plus years in computer-supported collaboration to help shape the next wave of Microsoft Office System technologies and other future products.”
More details about the joining of Microsoft and Groove can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/office/groove.