Tip o’ the Week #290 – get your Groove on

clip_image002It’s quite useful to have a catalogue of names that can be put to different uses. Codenames are frequently reused, and there was a time when every new product had to have a snazzy moniker – remember Daytona, Natal or more recently Spartan?

As well as the more public ones, there are all kinds of internal project and product codenames that never make it out into the wild. Nowadays, openly referring to old products exclusively by their pre-release code names is no longer a sign of authority and more an indication of being a wazzock.

Product names, on the other hand, sometimes get reused, though not often by the same company. Microsoft, however, took the original Surface name from the table-computer (now PixelSense) and applied it to tablet computers, and has also now renamed Zune Xbox Music to Groove (not to be confused with this Groove), featuring the Windows 10 app called Groove Music and a subscription service called the Groove Music Pass. If you already had Xbox Music content, you need do nothing – it’s a rebranding exercise and some fresh new app functionality. If you don’t have Win10 or a Music Pass, check out the web player to see what’s available.clip_image004

Great News! Groove Music Pass users can now play with Sonos, so there’s no need to keep a Spotify (… Deezer, et al) subscription if you’re already a Groove Music Pass user. If you’re tired of waiting for Sonos to release a proper controller app for Windows Phone or Windows 8/10, then check out Andy Pennell’s Phonos. Or take to Sonos’ forums to ask what’s happening, though be prepared for a wall of silence neither confirming nor denying if and when a Windows Phone app is coming.

Readers with long memories might recall where “Groove” came from – it was the product of Groove Networks, brainchild of erstwhile Lotus Notes inventor, Ray Ozzie, whose company was acquired by Microsoft 10 years ago, largely to get the man himself. Along came the baggage of the (frankly horrid) Groove 3.1 then Groove 2007, which begat Sharepoint Workspace and was subsequently deep-sixed as a separate product line. Or so you may have thought.

If you dig around in Task Manager (CTRL-SHIFT-ESC to jump there quickly, keyboardinjas), clip_image006or better still, use the excellent Process Explorer from SysInternals, you’ll see something interesting…


That’s right – the bones of Groove live on in OneDrive for Business, at least for now – the plan being to unify the OneDrive for Business and consumer OneDrive sync engines. Good thing too.

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