Perhaps one of the least hyped aspects of the Office 2007 announcement was the addition of Office Groove 2007 (acquired with Ray Ozzie’s Groove Networks) to the lineup. John Fontana explains how it fits at Computerworld Australia:
A year after buying Groove Networks and its peer-to-peer technology, Microsoft has begun laying out plans to develop the software into the offline client it has been missing in its document collaboration story.
Office Groove 2007, which Microsoft introduced in late February, is being developed as the “cache” or offline client for Microsoft’s Windows SharePoint Services and the renamed SharePoint Server in Office 2007.
The offline capabilities provides corporate users with better support for distributed work teams and mobile workers, who can take work offline much the same way they do with e-mail and then synchronize their changes once re-connected to the network.
The current SharePoint client is a browser, which means users must be tethered to the network to create or edit any collaborative content.
“This is the most logical thing that they could do with Groove because there is such a significant requirement for an offline store for SharePoint Services,” says Matt Cain, an analyst with Gartner. “It is mandatory to be able to take that stuff offline. This is exactly what we had been expecting and were hoping. The only real question is what took them so long.”