This was an eye opener today: Microsoft has bought Groove Networks and hired Ray Ozzie as new Chief Technical Officer.
Years ago when I lived in Boston, I had visited Groove and met the development team and Ray’s brother, Jack, when I was looking at doing a book on Groove for O’Reilly. I also interviewed with them, once, for a possible job.
It’s been a few years, but the Groove people I met were a loyal, sharp, enthusiastic group of people who seemed to have a lot of respect for the Ozzie brothers. I see from the press release, Microsoft has also hired the crew and they’re staying in the Boston area.
Microsoft buying Groove is one thing, but the kicker is the company hiring Ozzie as CTO. This signals a major shift in product direction, and product mentality, for the company.
Great Slashdot quote on the move:
Yup, that’s pretty much what all groupware is — it’s software that causes open source fanboys to say “I don’t see what the big deal is. I could do the same thing with NNTP, awk, MythTV, ReiserFS, two tin cans and a piece of string. All this “integration” and “working” stuff is just eye candy.”
Lotus Notes is the same thing, except that in that case the fanboys really could have done better with the cans and string.