Company established in 1997 by Ray Ozzie, creator of Lotus Notes, to produce the Groove software. Working three years in secrecy, Groove Networks finally unveiled a fully-functional preview release of Groove on October 24, 2000. Their corporate Web site is at

Groove Networks, and the Groove software, were inspired by, of all things, a deathmatch game of Quake Ray saw his son setting up over the Internet. He envisioned a new groupware tool that combined all the tools of Lotus Notes with that kind of point-and-click collaboration. He pitched it to a couple of colleagues, funded the company with his own personal fortune, and the group started brainstorming.

Three years of secrecy (complete with job postings for non-existent positions) and $60 million in outside funding later, Groove has been released. The software itself is free (as in beer), although more advanced pay-for-it versions are expected to appear (presumably to appeal to corporate users). It's already being pitched to television networks for interactive quiz shows and to major banks for interactive financial planning. Microsoft has already cited it as a component of their .Net initative, but then again, Microsoft has been doing that with just about everything lately, up to and including the microwave oven in their break room.