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Microsoft Gets In The Groove
Purchases Virtual Office Software Provider, Groove

Microsoft announced today that it will acquire Groove Networks, a leading provider of collaboration software for the "virtual office." The deal unites two top innovators of technology that help geographically distributed workgroups be as productive as those that work in a single physical location. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The addition of Groove products to the lineup of Microsoft Office System products, servers and services builds on the capabilities of Microsoft's current collaboration products, allowing Microsoft to better meet the needs of organizations of all sizes that increasingly are creating borderless project teams comprising employees, customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and others.

"The acquisition of Groove complements Microsoft's collaboration offerings to include real-time, server-based and peer-to-peer solutions that address the ever-changing and more-complex work environment," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Group. "Together, Microsoft and Groove will make anytime, anywhere collaboration a more natural and easy extension of how information workers coordinate their projects and document-centric work."

The acquisition also brings to Microsoft the development talent and technology leadership of top Groove executives, including founder Ray Ozzie, a creator of IBM's Lotus Notes. Ozzie will assume the role of CTO, reporting to Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, chairman and chief software architect, with responsibility for influencing corporate wide communication and collaboration offerings and associated platform infrastructure. Ozzie also will continue his work with the Groove team, which will be part of Microsoft's Information Worker Group.

"Ray and his team are true innovators. Microsoft and its customers will greatly benefit from their experience," Gates said. "After working with Ray for years as a close partner, it will be great to have him on our senior leadership team."

"We developed Groove's highly security-enhanced virtual office technology to help businesses and individuals -- wherever they are, whenever they work -- overcome the challenges presented by today's increasingly decentralized work environment," Ozzie said. "By joining forces with Microsoft, we can more effectively address the needs of information workers for collaboration solutions that 'just work' across organizational, geographic and network boundaries."

As a Windows desktop-based collaboration offering, Groove's Virtual Office complements Microsoft's collaboration solution offerings, which include, real-time collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2005 and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server that enable in-the-moment one-to-one and one-to-many collaboration; server-based collaboration solutions such as Microsoft Office SharePoint; portal server and Windows SharePoint Services that allow businesses to create and manage collaborative work spaces online or on a company's internal IT systems; and peer-to-peer collaboration solutions through Groove's Virtual Office, which let any Windows-based PC user instantly create virtual work spaces that securely and easily span organizational, geographic and network boundaries.

About ITSG News Desk
ITSG News Desk trawls the world's news sources for stories and updates on IT solutions that deliver ROI by reducing costs and/or cutting time-to-market, as well as other products and services that can produce bottom-line gains for enterprises.

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