Microsoft took it and it’s now a part of Office 2007 – the more upscale versions. If you don’t care to spend hundreds on the whole suite, you can buy a stand-alone version for $150 at Amazon.
So what is it and what will Groove do for you?
Groove is a pretty complete team sharing collaboration tool that brings documents, pictures, videos, chat and discussions together in a desktop workspace that can be shared with just one or many people. For large companies, workspaces are usually shared through servers or Microsoft SharePoint. For those without a server, new workspaces can be created using the ‘Groove Workspace’ feature. This will create a ?? The third choice when creating a workspace is to create a folder somewhere on your local drive that will be shared and synced with others.
Create a workspace with 2 clicks – then invite someone, or many people to share in your space. Adding contacts is not very intuitive, so here are instructions for adding the contacts from various sources into Groove so you don’t have to retype them.
Below is a screenshot of menu items available to you after you set up a workspace.
Tools/Features to Keep You Up-To-Date
- the leader of the workspace assigns members to appropriate levels of authority and the leader makes the decision to accept any revisions that members make
- each member has their own private space in which to edit documents
- after a member completes an edit, the document is synced for all members
- Groove keeps track of who made the last changes and version histories
- ability to work off-line
- data is encrypted with 192-bit AES encryption
- Groove 2007 is only available for 32-bit versions of Windows.
But Wait – Groove is Changing to Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010
This is pretty fresh news (April, 2010), and I would direct you to Mary Jo Foley’s article on the subject. In typical Microsoft fashion, there are few details available now. Mary Jo does note two items that businesses/people with older computers should take note of:
- Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 is 64-bit only. This means any workstation and servers too.
- SharePoint Workspace 2010 will not support IE version 6.To most of us, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I hear there are large corporations out there who amazingly have NOT upgraded workstation browsers because of the conflicts that would arise from workers using proprietary software.
Difference Between OneNote & Groove
It seems to me that the usefulness of Groove is chiefly for document editing/collaborating. There are version histories and the ability to track who edited what and when. Then there is the ‘editor’ who decides what changes will stick.
With OneNote, documents can still be put in notebooks and shared and edited, but the controls aren’t as tight. OneNote can be used by one individual and highly personalized to contain snippets, recordings, documents, etc. However, notebooks can be shared with others, so collaboration is easy and effective.
A deciding factor for many might be cost. OneNote is packaged with Microsoft Office Home & Student Version for only $150 (includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, but NOT Outlook). Adding Outlook to the package would still be less than buying the Professional or Ultimate versions of Office 2010.
Trial versions of Office 2010 can be downloaded for free at the Microsoft site. I think it’s free to use until October of this year.