Groove Workspace 2.0 review: Groove Workspace 2.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Includes powerful suite of collaboration tools; easy to learn; integrates well with Microsoft Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint; clean, intuitive interface.

The Bad Difficult to install; doesn't support many applications; occasionally sluggish; no Mac version.

The Bottom Line Despite a few rough spots, this newfangled instant messenger on steroids shines. Businesses looking for a low-cost way to collaborate across departments should give it a go.

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If you find yourself spending more time organizing meetings and hunting down conference call numbers than actually working with your colleagues, try Groove, a new conferencing system-cum-collaboration tool. Developed by the creator of Lotus Notes, Groove lets you share documents, draw diagrams, coedit documents, and chat using a built-in messenger--all from a single interface. If you use Microsoft Project frequently and consider yourself a Microsoft Office pro, opt for the Professional package. Otherwise, time-crunched sales teams, design shops, and individual worker bees should consider the $49 Standard package. If you find yourself spending more time organizing meetings and hunting down conference call numbers than actually working with your colleagues, try Groove, a new conferencing system-cum-collaboration tool. Developed by the creator of Lotus Notes, Groove lets you share documents, draw diagrams, coedit documents, and chat using a built-in messenger--all from a single interface. If you use Microsoft Project frequently and consider yourself a Microsoft Office pro, opt for the Professional package. Otherwise, time-crunched sales teams, design shops, and individual worker bees should consider the $49 Standard package.

Get into the groove
Think of Groove as a whiteboard, an instant messenger, a conferencing app, and a file manager all in one. With this tool, you can create an unlimited number of shared spaces in which coworkers can join you. What's a space? Essentially, it's a shared environment where you can coedit documents, play games such as chess and tic-tac-toe, share files, draw diagrams, and chat using a built-in messenger.

To install Groove, start by downloading a free version, which limits you to five shared spaces at a time. After the 90-day preview period, you must choose between the Standard package, which provides unlimited shared spaces and basic collaboration tools for $49, or the $99 Professional, which includes everything you'll find in the Standard plan, plus more advanced tools, such as the ability to import and export files using Microsoft Project. Most businesses will find the Standard package adequate, so unless you use Microsoft Project frequently, skip the Professional package.

Installation needs work
Unfortunately, our attempts at installing Groove weren't exactly groovy. In one case, where we were using a 300MHz machine running Windows 98, the installer simply wouldn't open properly. In another test, we received a number of "missing DLL" errors. However, to Groove's credit, its tech support was helpful, and in each case, reinstalling the app did the trick. Another ding: for now, Groove works only on Windows machines.

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Where to Buy

Groove Workspace 2.0

Part Number: CNETGROOVE2

Pricing is currently unavailable.