Ray Ozzie is a smart guy

I've been reading Ray Ozzie's weblog lately and enjoying it quite a bit. He's a smart guy and since I started my career as a Lotus Notes consultant, he was for some years akin to a god to me. I'm older now and less impressionable, but still I think he's pretty cool.

I must say that I HAVE been really put off by Groove's recent Microsoft focus and integration. Groove is using all sorts of .Net crap now and MS has even invested in the company. It's been sad to watch this happen to a company that seemed poised to do such cool stuff. Ray's post yesterday was some sort of justfication for targeting only the Windows platform. But while it sort of makes sense from a resource standpoint, I'm sure Microsoft's $51 million investment in Groove also helped sway his opinion a bit. It's too bad, thinking like this in general will keep the MS monopoly around for a long time and that's bad for all of us.

Anyways, after re-reading Ray's posts and recent articles about Groove, it dawned on me that Ray isn't trying to change the world with his new software (as he did with Notes), at least not any more, he's now just trying to make some more cash. Think about it, Ray has experience playing games with large corporations already. First it was Iris Associates working with Lotus. Then Lotus buys Iris in 1994. Then IBM buys Lotus in 1995 - but only after first being assured that Ray is on board. I don't know jack, but it's pretty obvious what's going on. Ray's playing this same game with Microsoft now.

Groove has all this .Net integration and upcoming fantastic integration with Microsoft Office and BackOffice stuff like Sharepoint. Microsoft has already invested in the company and Ray is talking about how happy they are to have only focused on MS toolsets. Ray obviously wants Groove to be the next FrontPage or GreatPlains. I'm SURE Microsoft is looking for a HIGHLY secure and very useful .Net application that only runs on the MS platform and integrates well with their Office and BackOffice tools. Groove is just the .Net poster child Microsoft needs. And that $36 billion MUST be burning a hole in Gates' pocket...

I wonder if Ozzie will be able to manage dealing with the sharks in Redmond as well as he did with Lotus and IBM?


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