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Friday, August 8, 2008

GroupWise is 20 years old today

My friend Richard Bliss reminded me GroupWise is 20 years old today - launched 8/8/88.

Although not originally knows as GroupWise, the product WordPerfect Corporation launched as PerfectLibrary and renamed WordPerfect Office 2.0 on August 8 1988 was a revolutionary piece of software for the time. An integrated email, calendar, task system with server components that could run on the popular operating systems of the day: DOS, 3COM, Banyan, Netware, etc. My first experience with Office was an installation at Greater Boston Legal Services. The legal professionals there quickly became big fans of electronic mail.

WordPerfect reinvented the product a few years later as WordPerfect Office 4.0. More features were integrated, gateways for SMTP and dial-up were added, and a truly modern complete collaboration system debuted. It was no small feat to create a multi-platform email system when DOS, OS/2, Windows, Netware, Vines, and other operating systems were all being used in many different configurations. WordPerfect Office quickly became the standard platform for most law firms, and it was an amazing experience to see the effect simple electronic communication had on the work force. Fax, FedEx, Telex and paper memo usage gradually dropped, and email became a trusted communication tool. Today email is a given and used world-wide for all contacts.

Novell inherited WordPerfect Office and renamed it to GroupWise and has continuously been innovating the platform with the latest release "Bonsai" v8 due to launch soon.

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