Groove Networks, which produces the Groove P2P business collaboration platform, released an updated version that has close links to Microsoft applications, and is also compatible with a range of Web services.The software lets users view a collective "workspace" from which they can communicate with colleagues. Users can also use instant messenger features to manage updates to shared documents and project data.Version 2.5 of the Groove product ties these workspaces to Microsoft's Share Point Team Services and Outlook messaging program. This allows new information, such as task lists and calendar entries, to be imported into the Groove workspace.This type of business integration, which lets companies extend their existing Microsoft messaging software, makes sense for Groove's survival in a market where Microsoft still dominates. Groove is also licking the hand that feeds it, since Microsoft invested $51 million in the company in 2001.The new version of the Groove software also links its applications to Web services using XML. Such Web services include shared files, discussion boards and calendars. Web services enhancements allow businesses to run the Groove applications on handheld devices, and embed Groove capabilities into other software. One example of this is the recent incorporation of Groove tools into PTC's collaborative design engineering software.