So long, Groove; hello, SharePoint Workspace 2010
With the forthcoming release of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, you won't see Groove any longer. That's because the name has been changed to SharePoint Workspace 2010. Microsoft's view is that Groove is to SharePoint what Outlook is to Exchange, and you can see that new thinking reflected in the fact that SharePoint will have its own collaboration client; with previous SharePoint versions, it used a browser connection and the Office applications as its connection means.
As I noted, from an administrative perspective, deploying Groove was complicated, but deploying SharePoint is pretty straightforward. Microsoft's new approach should be much easier to deploy and manage, especially because SharePoint connects to your Active Directory, unlike Groove, which had its own directory and forced you to jump through hoops to get everything to play nice together.
Beyond the administrative side, strictly from a client-functionality angle, SharePoint Workspace is absolutely awesome. All the great features from Groove are still included. But now you can connect to and sync up with all the data on your SharePoint site. Groove already allowed you to connect to SharePoint Document Libraries, but now you can go further. This means all of the lists and libraries can be made available for offline viewing and revision. Take your SharePoint content on the go, and reach for it when you need information but don't have a connection or when you want to make revisions -- all of which will be synchronized when you reconnect.
Bridging the user document-management divide
In addition, SharePoint Workspace enhances the ability of a user to work with document libraries by providing a simple ribbon interface with easily found check-in/check-out options. This capability will be extremely valuable for users who have a hard time working with documents from a document library. They may be used to working with file shares and saving to folders on the Internet, but if you bring SharePoint into the mix, they may have to check out a document, check it in, and so forth -- a new process that can make them apprehensive about working with SharePoint.