Yesterday I spent a little over an hour trying out an online virtual office called Groove. It is actually amazing, featuring a number of interesting tools, from useful stuff like a file system, a calendar, a chat system or a document review tool, to lighter tools like a chess application. I was able to set up my workspace in no time and to invite another participant to join. This online tool is still a bit slow for document reviews and I am not sure I like the way it duplicates documents when several users are chancing the same document at the same time; in fact it would be OK if there was a way to run a comparison between documents and achieve a controlled merge of documents... I am sure Groove will improve and I personally believe this is a killer for opensource office productivity software, especially since Groove is now part of Microsoft and I expect it to be closely linked to the Live approach of Microsoft in their Office 2007 suite. And my take is that the combination of desktop based software with an online workspace is a much stronger proposition for business users (possibly also for private users) than 100% online office productivity suites like the one expected from Sun and Google.
From a business standpoint, I am curious to see how the opensource community is going to respond to Groove.