Sun 13 Mar 2005
Groove is just another example of what, I think, are signs of IT (or computer industry) maturing and inevitably becoming commonplace. Those signs are stuff that just works without people generally knowing – or caring – how. Another is Skype.
Skype is arguably worse at its core functionality (carrying voice over the network) than other protocols – and the protocol itself is proprietary and unknown, as opposed to widely implemented and well documented SIP standard. Also, Skype’s rates for calls to the normal telephone network are much worse than what classic VoIP SIP operators propose (like BroadVoice which I happen to use). But Skype is winning the competition for the mass market because it just works. No complicated configuration, no additional devices, just download the software, install it and off you go. NAT? Firewalls? In most cases – zero problems.
That’s why I found even my geeky friends to use it. Reason? Simple – you can talk a complete non-geek through installing it, basic computer literacy is all that is needed.
Same about Groove. No hassle, just install it and work. They only have to tweak their business model some to become as ubiquitous as Skype already is. I wonder if now, under Microsoft’s ownership, they will figure it out – after all no one’s better than Microsoft at making their stuff ubiquitous.