Groove P2P creates virtual space for collaboration

Perhaps one of the more compelling peer-to-peer (P2P) networking technologies to come along is Groove, a P2P networking application from Groove Networks Inc. in Beverly, Mass.

Created by Lotus Notes inventor Ray Ozzie, Groove is a P2P networking platform that enables users to create a network without server on top of the public Internet. Several users, just by running the client, create a shared virtual space in which they can collaborate in real time or work off-line when not connected to the Internet.

Although all the content is stored locally on end-user PCs, it can be seen and used by others when users are logged on to the Internet.

Groove includes a set of collaboration tools, such as a shared calendar, a contact manager and tools for sharing files. The latest version has integrated Microsoft Instant Messenger. Groove officials say the platform will remain open to other users who want to develop additional Groove tools.

All Groove content stored on hard drives and sent over the network is encrypted using a 192-bit encryption scheme coupled with a passphrase. Authentication of users for a given Groove space is done through the exchange of vCards, or electronic business cards.

The Groove client software is slated to sell for $49 per user, and company officials expect it to be commercially available in the near future. Users can download the software at www.groove.net and test a preview copy for free.

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