Microsoft is buying Groove Networks, a Boston-area company started by industry pioneer Ray Ozzie, to broaden its lineup of office productivity and collaboration tools.

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Microsoft is buying Groove Networks, a Boston-area company started by industry pioneer Ray Ozzie, to broaden its lineup of office productivity and collaboration tools.

Microsoft was already a major investor in Groove, which produces software that helps people work together on products from multiple locations. Executives said Groove complements Microsoft’s lineup of collaboration tools, particulary by adding peer-to-peer document-sharing capabilities.

The acquisition will help Microsoft build products for the new world of business, in which workers have to be more self-sufficient and productive both within their companies and across geographic and network boundaries, said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Microsoft’s information worker division.

“We believe that by going forward with this merger, it really will help us realize our shared vision much more quickly,” he said.

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Raikes, Ozzie and Chairman Bill Gates announced the merger in a conference call this morning. Gates said he’s long thought about hiring Ozzie and his team.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Groove has received $155 million in financing since it was started in 1997.

Ozzie is a pioneer developer of business software products. His previous creations include Lotus Notes, a product now owned by IBM.

Groove, which employs about 200 people, will remain based in Beverly, Mass., giving Microsoft its first product-development center in the region. Ozzie and Raikes said most employees will be retained but some overlapping positions may be trimmed.

Ozzie won’t relocate but he was named one of Microsoft’s chief technology officers and will serve on the company’s leadership team.