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Microsoft Buying Groove Networks

Microsoft is buying Groove Networks with the intent to roll the company's collaboration products into the Microsoft Office System and leverage Groove founder Ray Ozzie's skills across Microsoft in the role of Chief Technical Officer.

"Ray and his team are true innovators. Microsoft and its customers will greatly benefit from their experience," Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said in a statement.

Groove's products focus on creating a virtual office through desktop software that allows instant, joint work and a set of customizable, open collaboration capabilities.

Microsoft expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter. At that time, the nearly 200 employees of the seven-year-old company will continue to operate from their current Beverly, Mass., headquarters. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The unit will be part of group vice president Jeff Raikes' Information Worker Group. While Ozzie will continue working with the Groove team, he will report directly to Gates.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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