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Microsoft Warns Groove Server 2010 Support Is Nearing End

Microsoft has started the support countdown for its Groove Server 2010 peer-to-peer communications product.

Oct. 13, 2020 will mark the end of Groove Server 2010 support, the company said on Wednesday. Patches, including security fixes, won't arrive for the server after that date. It's a typical security and compliance milestone for organizations, compelling them to move.

The product support lifecycle of Groove Server 2010 tracks with the product lifecycle of the Office 2010 product. Office 2010 will fall out of "extended support" on the Oct. 13, 2020 date for organizations having Service Pack 2 installed, per Microsoft's lifecycle support page.

Organizations may have used Groove Server to support internal collaborations, but Microsoft wants them to shift instead to using Microsoft Teams for "persistent chat" and online meetings, according to the announcement by Bill Baer, a senior product marketing manager for SharePoint at Microsoft. If Groove Server was used by organizations to work with files offline, Microsoft wants them to switch to using "OneDrive for Business and/or the SharePoint App." Organizations that are using Groove Server for "groups and calendaring" functions should move to using Office 365 Groups, Baer added.

The desktop client application that was used with Groove Server, called "Microsoft SharePoint Workspace," is already a discontinued product. It was previously known as "Microsoft Office Groove."

Microsoft also has a OneDrive for Business Sync client that is based on the old Groove.exe application. The old sync client is getting displaced by the new OneDrive sync client, known as "OneDrive.exe." However, OneDrive.exe "doesn't yet support syncing on-premises instances of OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Server (when your organization doesn't subscribe to an Office 365 business plan)," a Microsoft document explained.

Groove originally was the brainchild of Ray Ozzie of Groove Networks. Its product got sold to Microsoft for $120 million and resurfaced under the Microsoft SharePoint Workspace name, getting stuffed into Microsoft Office suites. Meanwhile, Ozzie went on to become Microsoft's sole chief software architect, serving from 2005 to 2010.

Microsoft has since put most of its software development efforts on its services side with Office 365 and SharePoint Online, and that's where it wants its customers to go. However, the new SharePoint Server 2019 product continues with the on-premises server tradition. SharePoint Server 2019 is expected to reach "general availability" commercial release sometime this month.

With SharePoint Server 2016, Microsoft had produced Office Online Server, the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013, which lets organizations run Office Web Apps from their "on-premises" datacenters. With SharePoint Server 2019, organizations can still run Office Online Server, which still goes by the same product name, according to this Microsoft TechNet community post by Trevor Seward, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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