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Microsoft Brings Lotus Notes Founder Ray Ozzie On Board As CTO

Buys His Company, Groove Networks; Ozzie Will Report Directly to Bill Gates and Continue His Work with the Groove Team

"Ray and his team are true innovators," said Bill Gates yesterday as Microsoft announced that it's acquiring Ray Ozzie's company, Groove Networks, Inc. "Microsoft and its customers will greatly benefit from their experience," Gates continued. "After working with Ray for years as a close partner, it will be great to have him on our senior leadership team."

Ozzie's Groove Networks is a leading provider of collaboration software for the "virtual office," so the deal unites two top innovators of technology that help geographically distributed workgroups be as productive as those that work in a single physical location.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"The acquisition of Groove complements Microsoft's collaboration offerings to include real-time, server-based and peer-to-peer solutions that address the ever-changing and more-complex work environment," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Group. "Together, Microsoft and Groove will make anytime, anywhere collaboration a more natural and easy extension of how information workers coordinate their projects and document- centric work."

The addition of Groove products to the lineup of Microsoft Office System products, servers and services builds on the capabilities of Microsoft's current collaboration products, allowing Microsoft to better meet the needs of organizations of all sizes that increasingly are creating borderless project teams comprising employees, customers, partners, suppliers, contractors and others.

The acquisition also brings to Microsoft the development talent and technology leadership of top Groove executives, including Ozzie, a creator of IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes. Ozzie will assume the role of chief technical officer, reporting to Bill Gates, Microsoft founder, chairman and chief software architect, with responsibility for influencing corporatewide communication and collaboration offerings and associated platform infrastructure. Ozzie also will continue his work with the Groove team, which will be part of Microsoft's Information Worker Group.

"We developed Groove's highly security-enhanced virtual office technology to help businesses and individuals - wherever they are, whenever they work - overcome the challenges presented by today's increasingly decentralized work environment," Ozzie said. "By joining forces with Microsoft, we can more effectively address the needs of information workers for collaboration solutions that 'just work' across organizational, geographic and network boundaries."


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Most Recent Comments
buckhead_buddy 03/11/05 12:52:53 AM EST

I think this sale shows that Ray Ozzy's main interest is in satisfying Ray Ozzy. A title is just a title; will Ray have real power and be happy? Will he really be able to do things that he wants to do? Is his goal really to help Microsoft or just to help his own business goals by making a bigger name for himself and abandoning them in 5 years time to start his own super-company?

MLopat 03/11/05 12:50:06 AM EST

The real story here in Microsoft acquiring a new CTO. This man has an impressive track record in the technology field. He is responsible for the creation of Lotus Notes, a technology that Microsoft Exchange is just starting to catch up to both in features and install base. 100 Million people use his technology worldwide. He is also rated among the top five developers of the century.

ewe2 03/11/05 12:48:31 AM EST

MS is resorting to buying its innovation in the form of developers of other major software; it's indicative of how difficult it is for the major companies to move anywhere. MS has real trouble unless it can continue to support the OS platform; this is another attempt to shore up the dam, and not a bad one.

groupware4all 03/10/05 11:19:03 AM EST

The original raison d'etre of Groove - this is direct from Ozzie's own blog - was 'to enable people "at the edge" to dynamically assemble online into secure virtual workspaces, to work together and to get something done, even if those individuals were in different organizations with completely different IT infrastructure.' Interesting MS should feel they need that...perhaps the key is the word "secure" above?

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