Investing - Gates and Ozzie Get Into the Groove - FORTUNE - Page 1: "In an extended version of FORTUNE’s Q&A, the software legends reveal how Groove Networks’ tools will be incorporated into Microsoft’s universe."
Fortune subscription required... but some excerpts:
"How long have you guys known each other?
Ozzie: [We met in] either '81 or '82, when I was at Software Arts.
Then you stayed in touch as Ray developed Notes [for Lotus Development]?
Gates: We didn't know what Notes was, but we knew you [looks at Ozzie] were asking us a lot of very good networking protocol questions. Ray quickly got a reputation as giving us the best feedback on how our tools could be better.
How much has Microsoft wanted to beat Notes?
Gates: There are two ways to think of Notes. One is as an e-mail product, and the other is as a deep collaboration product. Microsoft competed with Notes as e-mail. We never matched Notes in some of the collaborative features."
What about your open-source rival OpenOffice?
Gates: Well, most people already own Microsoft Office, and so it's free to them, whereas OpenOffice is not the same quality, not innovating, and doesn't have all the modules. We compete with our installed base by innovating.
Bill, what makes you the most excited about Groove Networks?
Gates: Demand for information is at its greatest during a crisis like the tsunami. [Groove was used by relief organizations during that disaster.] All of these organizations were trying to gather information—"Where is the map?" "Where is this problem?" "Are we duplicating effort?" "Are we leaving something undone?" There are wonderful stories where Groove enabled all of these different organizations to do amazing things. Nobody wanted to let the other guy host the server and the network didn't always work. Groove made a real difference there. But we look at those things and say, "Gosh, we could have done even better."