They may not be able to tell you what it is, exactly, but they agree it's going to be really big.
The man who invented Lotus Notes is back in the news after three years in deep stealth mode with his new company, Groove Networks. Groove will be taking the wraps off today at Internet World, and outlets ran stories about Ray Ozzie's new thing. It's a platform for peer-to-peer communications - so the reporters describing it sounded collectively like the blind men with the elephant. Among the sound bites they collected from analysts: "Ray Ozzie is Napsterizing Notes" (Michael Schrage in the New York Times); "This could be the next killer application for the Internet" (Esther Dyson in the Wall Street Journal); "Has the potential of being the AOL instant messaging of the business community" (David Marshak in the Boston Globe).
Most outlets waited until today to run their Groove stories, but Techweb posted yesterday noon. Consequently their story was filled out with quotes from patent filings and the comments of anonymous sources, one of whom spoke "before he realized his nondisclosure agreement had not expired." Reporter Barbara Darrow got on-the-record comments from analyst Judith Hurwitz and from Dan Bricklin, one of the fathers of the spreadsheet (and Ozzie's former boss).
Groove's software will be available for free download starting today, and most of the coverage centered on the give-it-away business model. The Wall Street Journal's William M. Bulkeley alone detailed the version Groove plans to sell to businesses. The Globe's Hiawatha Bray quoted an Aberdeen Group analyst thus: "It's a successful technology in my estimation, but the business model is a little less secure." - Keith Dawson
The King of Groove
The Industry Standard
Groove Gets It On
Lotus Notes Developer to Introduce a New Internet Tool
New York Times
Groups in Groove
Lotus Notes Creator Will Unveil Long-Awaited Network Software
Wall Street Journal
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Groove Should Do Wonders for Peer-to-Peer Computing
San Jose Mercury News