For about two years we have been testing Groove internally. My first impressions were great. Groove offers the ability to share files and collaborate among various teams, inside and outside your organization.

Groove key advantages:

  • File sharing / Collaboration
  • Unlimited extensibility
  • It works on any network connection (it knows how to use it optimally)
  • It allows you to take your files anywhere with you
  • You do not need an IT guy to set it up, it requires no infrastructure (Please note: There is Groove Server but it is not required for simple deployments)
  • It can be integrated with Windows SharePoint Services
  • It works for inside teams, but it is also very convenient for teams that are not part of the same company / not having common infrastructure

During last nine months I have been trying to evangelize Groove inside our company as great tool for ad-hoc collaboration on very small projects and similar ventures. However nine months later the verdict is: Groove 2007 is not ready! [:(]

Here are some problems when implementing Groove, and possible solutions. (RayO I know you are reading this [:)]). Some might argue that we should integrate Groove client with Groove server but at this point I see it just as overkill.

Current situation What should Microsoft do to correct it?
People do not like yet another program that sits in their task bar. Integrate Groove with Outlook
It’s interface is… well it is hard to say, but it looks funny… Integrate Groove with Outlook, use the same interface
People do not like to have yet another account, and they tend to forget passwords for it Integrate it with LiveID
In case of hard disk error you cannot restore your Groove account if you do not have a backup copy of it Users should be able to login to Groove without backup file, using their LiveID
Restoring your backuped account might not work if it is older than 60 days. (Error: Saved account for name is too old and cannot be used) Microsoft corrected this issue, check kb article.
It does not support file versioning / check-in & check-out, document properties (only when integrated with SharePoint) should be there out of box
Process of inviting people might get to complicated when you have a number of people with same names and duplicate accounts (they lost backup, password etc.) Integrate it with LiveID
Groove freezes my computer. Groove slows down my computer. (I did not have any problems with it, but numerous people reported similar issues) This might be related with something else, but they should check it out…
You cannot use Groove with a customer that does not have it Well it would like to see Groove Web Access, maybe Live Mash will be something similar.

Leave a Reply