Am I the only one seeing that Microsoft’s Live Mesh announced yesterday is conceptually a new version of Groove?
Ever since Microsoft bought Groove in 2005 the product seemed to be a foster child in the Office family. Not included in most of Office SKUs, not really advancing the technology, lacking a clear place on the family picture (instead standing somewhat vaguely behind the really loved SharePoint).
Last week on the MVP Summit Groove MVPs applied significant pressure on Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer (see transcript) trying to get an answer of where Groove is going and basically not getting much. I would summarize the official vision as: Groove is becoming more integrated with SharePoint, but it will not become a complete offline solution for it any time soon, nor is there a decision whether it should.
Well, yesterday, Groove stroke back. And it is not called Groove any more – it’s Live Mesh. But just go through the screenshot gallery and you’ll see Windows folders becoming Groove-like workspaces with file sharing and sync across devices with associated members lists, news, and discussions.
In addition to the basic Groove functionality, there is also a web access page (hosted by Microsoft) and remote desktop functionality (kind of lame if the goal is to replace an application engine, but probably fine for troubleshooting and getting to your workplace remotely during trips).
So to me, Live Mesh is not Microsoft’s OS in the cloud. It is the new real Groove (as opposed to the old Groove shipped with Office) developed by the core Groove fans (including Ray himself) and having no SharePoint dependencies this time around. 😉
An offtopic for this blog, but I could not help it.