Just got off the Microsoft press conference around the acquisition of Groove.

First, let me congratuate all involved.  Having gotten to know Ozzie a bit more in the last few months, I have tremendous respect for his vision and intellect.  Ray brings immediate credibility to the job, and I look forward to seeing his impact on Microsoft overall.

As for the market impact, I offer this not-for-quote-by-press observation:  Office is starting to look like an even bigger jigsaw puzzle.  Two more pieces of technology this week (Groove and Communicator) will add to the IT desktop management nightmares, integration issues, upgrade and patch problems.  Just when the industry had been rallying around contextual collaboration, Microsoft is going the other direction of different client interfaces, different data models, and different integration approaches.  This also seems to be acknowledgement, perhaps, that offline still matters, and that WinFS is too far away (if ever) to remedy that issue.

Going to be interesting to watch how this plays out.

Updated: If you happened by this posting via salon.com, please read my followup.

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