Groove Networks next week will release Version 3 of its flagship peer-to-peer collaboration suite, changing the name and increasing the price to allow for new functionality.
The product, formerly known as Groove Workspace, becomes Groove Virtual Office in this release. The new name reflects the companys increasing focus on connecting remote employees. A host of new functionality in the more advanced versions of the technology will also necessitate a 20 percent price increase.
Groove Virtual Office Professional Edition will be priced at $179 per user. The Project Edition, which includes advanced project management capabilities and is Grooves most popular version, will be priced at $229 per user.
Pricing for the entry version of the suite, now known as the File Sharing Edition (formerly Standard Edition), remains $69 per user.
Chief among new features across all editions of Version 3 is that Windows Explorer on a users PC becomes a Groove workspace and can be synchronized across other users PCs, lessening reliance on e-mail for file transfer, according to company officials.
Another key new feature is the Groove LaunchPad, a starting point for managing workspaces, contacts, and presence and awareness.
Professional and Project editions get advanced forms capabilities supporting forms scripting, layout, preferences and integration with back-end operational applications. These versions also support visual and audible alerts of user presence activities.
Groove is including search capabilities within its workspaces for the first time in this version. The product is also harkening back to its original version with support for launching Groove Virtual Office at Windows startup. This feature was discontinued after customers complained that Groove Version 1 was a resource hog that slowed performance. But better memory management and native Windows controls in this version have enabled the company to offer that feature again, if customers so choose.