July 22, 2002 8:20 AM PDT

Groove tightens ties to Microsoft

Groove Networks plans to integrate support for Microsoft's online collaboration technology into its future applications, the company said Monday.

Both Groove and Microsoft's SharePoint Team Services focus on online collaboration for people working together on projects. But Groove's product uses desktop software, while Microsoft's service is largely delivered over the Web.

Groove, which released the second major version of its software in April, plans in the fall to offer an update supporting SharePoint Team Services.

One of the more important features would let people access offline, as well as online, content and automatically synchronize between the two.

"This solution uniquely addresses the need for people to continue working, even when they aren't connected to the Internet, and to work securely across company boundaries," Groove CEO Chuck Teubner said in a statement.

Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie founded Groove in October 1997. Three years later, Beverly, Mass.-based Groove launched the first version of its desktop software that enabled people to collaborate over the Internet.

Groove's software helps people create peer-to-peer networks--a way of linking computers together without the need of power servers--to share data or work on projects.

Microsoft's SharePoint Team Services also focuses on collaboration but concentrates more on using the Web or a traditional client-server approach. Microsoft also has added SharePoint support to some desktop products, such as Office XP, and offers the service from its bCentral small-business Web site.

Groove's ties with Microsoft tightened after the Redmond, Wash-based software giant invested $51 million in the start-up last fall.


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