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MS gets into the Groove

Acquires collaboration software outfit

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Microsoft has acquired collaboration software company Groove Networks Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Groove's founder, Ray Ozzie, will become Microsoft's chief technical officer and - once the dust has settled on the deal in Q2 2005 - Groove will become part of Microsoft's Information Worker Business.

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

Jeff Raikes, Microsoft group vice president of the Information Worker Business, chipped in: "Adding Groove and its products to Microsoft brings together two companies with a shared vision for making collaboration natural and easy. Groove complements Microsoft's collaboration products by helping us better serve businesses with mobile workers and remote offices."

Ray Ozzie founded Groove Networks in October 1997. He is best known for creating Lotus Notes, and current groovy products include Groove Virtual Office, which "allows teams of people to work together over a network as if they were in the same physical location". The new member of the MS family will maintain its physical location in Beverly, MA.

The full MS press release is here. ®

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