Friday, March 11, 2005

Microsoft and Groove

Microsoft is buying Groove Networks (, March 10th 2005). See commentary by Stephen O'Grady (Redmonk), which discusses the potential threat to Lotus and other tools in the collaboration space. See also commentary by Michael Sampson, which discusses some of the technical options now facing Microsoft.

But I think there's something else interesting here. At Groove, both Ray Ozzie and Michael Helfrich were enthusiastic proponents of the concept of Power to the Edge. See Ray's review of the 2003 book by Alberts and Hayes. Ray is now becoming a senior manager at Microsoft, reporting directly to Bill Gates. Michael left Groove at the end of January. 

Meanwhile John Stenbit, the former assistant secretary of defense who wrote the foreword to the Alberts and Hayes book, joined the board of directors of Groove in November 2004 (press release). (He is also on the boards of Cryptek, McDonald Bradley, Mercator Partners, SI International and Viasat.)

So what is Microsoft's role going to be in providing a platform for the Edge Organization? This is something we are going to have to explain and explore over the next few months and beyond.


Over the years, Microsoft has used the Groove brandname for various purposes, including collaboration, filesharing and music streaming.

Ray Ozzie worked for Microsoft until 2010, initially as one of three Chief Technology Officers, subsequently taking over from Bill Gates as Chief Software Architect.

After leaving Groove, Michael Helfrich set up a company called Blueforce, initially specializing in the defence sector before expanding into other areas of government.

John Stenbit is still on the boards of several companies.

Former Assistant Secretary Of Defense John P. Stenbit Joins Groove Networks Board of Directors (BusinessWire, 18 November 2004)

See also Power to the Edge (December 2005)

1 comment:

  1. I hope you don't mind my posting here. While not presuming to be a profound guru on these matters at my pragmatic level on our website we talk about "extending the edge". Groove's edge is limited by
    - windows computers, that
    - people use daily, that
    - they can install programs to, and that
    - are well specified.

    We take Groove over that edge.